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Amazon Workers in Minnesota Stop Work on Prime Day

4-hour strike action at fulfillment center part of a push for better work conditions
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2019 2:21 PM CDT
The Amazon Fulfillment Center in Shakopee, Minn.   (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

(Newser) – Amazon's Prime Day is well underway, and this year amid the bargains comes a work stoppage by employees in Minnesota. Some workers at the Amazon fulfillment center in Shakopee were taking part in a strike action from 2pm to 6pm to demand better work conditions, reports the Star Tribune. Such strikes aren't unusual at Amazon facilities in Europe—indeed, a coordinated strike took place Monday at multiple warehouses in Germany, notes CNN Business—but this is one of the first times a strike has taken place in the US on such a busy sales day, reports the Washington Post. Amazon last year raised its minimum wage to $15 for US employees, but the workers in Shakopee are more concerned about what they say are requirements that they work at unsafe speeds.

Amazon said the Shakopee work stoppage will not affect orders because other fulfillment centers can cover the slowdown. "We can only conclude that the people who plan to attend the event on Monday are simply not informed,” said the company in a statement. “If these groups—unions and the politicians they rally to their cause—really want to help the American worker, we encourage them to focus their energy on passing legislation for an increase in the federal minimum wage, because $7.25 is too low.” In New York, meanwhile, a coalition of labor groups plans to deliver 250,000 petitions to the Manhattan home of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to protest what it says are abusive working conditions at warehouses, per the AP. (Read more Prime Day stories.)

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