Amazon would prefer its workers to be pitching in and dealing with the large increases in demand that come with Prime Day (or rather the two consecutive days of discounts for members of Amazon’s premium subscription service). By the end of the first day of the Prime discounts, Amazon had cleared $4 billion. Despite the huge profits, 50 percent of Amazon employees earn less than $28,446. Amazon now has more than half a million employees worldwide.
Due to what many consider to be low pay (and seeking a ‘living wage’), and poor working conditions where employees are continually required to ‘watch the clock’, many workers and labor unions have opted to use Prime Day to engage in industrial action. As an example group of warehouse workers in Shakopee, Minnesota have elected to strike. At this center workers have a target of packing 230 items per hour and there are reports of workers being refused restroom and prayer breaks.
This is just one example. According to Business Insider, thousands of Amazon workers in the U.S. and Germany are striking, and protests are taking place at Amazon operations in U.K., Spain, and Poland within the 48 hours of Prime Day.
Amazon has defended its position and has voiced opposition to the protests. The company states that it offers attractive salaries and benefits packages.
Many customers appear to supporting the workers and one way of expressing this support is by hitting Amazon where it is likely to notice the most – money. A campaign is running to encourage users of Amazon Prime to cancel their subscriptions. Cancelling Prime is not straightforward, however there are websites outlining how to do so.