Calls To Boycott Amazon Prime Week To Save Staff From Being ‘Stuck at Work’

A name for customers to boycott Amazon Prime Day as a result of employees will allegedly be “stuck at work” for 13-hour shifts has gone viral on Reddit, the place it acquired over 30,000 upvotes.

Several Redditors stated this week could be “the perfect time” for employees to go on a nationwide strike when “they [Amazon] need you the most.”

A frontrunner from the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) advised Newsweek that the claims made within the newest Reddit submit are “totally correct,” whereas a spokesperson for Amazon advised Newsweek that its staff are “not allowed to work more than 12 hours per day.”

Amazon Prime Day, the web retail big’s greatest annual gross sales occasion, is formally on from as we speak via tomorrow, July 13. But some offers have kicked off sooner than July 12.

In a submit that is acquired 30,300 upvotes and practically 2,000 feedback because it was shared on the web discussion board a couple of week in the past by a Redditor (whose account has since been deleted), a consumer claiming to be a “Tier 3 Amazon Associate” (who’re among the many firm’s hourly employees) stated: “I’m asking you all to help me spread the word on ‘Don’t buy during [Amazon] prime week’ Next Monday the 11th [July 11] all the way to the end of the week! Don’t force us, employees, to be stuck at work from 5 am till 6 pm away from our families.”

Amazon office in California.
Signage exterior an Amazon company workplace constructing in Sunnyvale, California.
Lisa Werner by way of Getty Images

The newest submit comes amid an ongoing objection listening to held by the National Labor Relations Board since June 13 to contemplate Amazon’s bid to overturn a historic election in April this 12 months. The election noticed employees at an Amazon warehouse within the New York City borough of Staten Island vote to unionize, marking the primary profitable U.S. organizing effort within the historical past of Amazon.

President Joe Biden expressed assist for the unionizing of Amazon employees following the landmark election in April. In his remarks on the nationwide convention of North America’s Building Trades Unions, Biden stated “the choice to join a union belongs to workers alone,” including: “And by the way: Amazon, here we come. Watch.”

In a remark that acquired 8,400 upvotes within the newest Reddit submit, consumer FastFeasting stated: “Prime week is the perfect time for Amazon workers nationwide to strike. What better time than when they need you the most?”

Kelnozz claimed: “Most people can’t afford to strike, they miss more than a day then they miss rent. They [Amazon] put us between a rock and a hard place so we can’t fight for ourselves,” in a remark that received 422 upvotes.

BabyfaceJezus commented: “That’s why we must help each other. Unionizing is about support. Lean on the union. We can only go far together, U know?,” in a remark that acquired 163 upvotes.

Jason Anthony, the lead organizer for the ALU, stated the claims made within the newest Reddit submit are “totally correct but it varies by location, for example here in NYC Prime Week Our MET [mandatory extra time/overtime] is one of our days off but not everyone is affected by this. In other words, [workers] will be [on] 5 days [of] 11-hour shifts in NYC.”

Anthony stated the ALU believes employees “should go on strike” as a result of the working circumstances inside Amazon’s warehouses are “not ideal,” particularly through the summer season when it’s “80 or 90 degrees [Fahrenheit] outside” and “being inside it [feels] much worse.”

He added: “These workers are required to be hydrated all the time due to physical movement throughout the day and [at] some point they will need to go to the bathroom and there’s no air conditioning in [any] of the facilities.”

Sharing a picture (seen just under) of a facility displaying a packaging belt with a few small followers, Anthony stated: “This is what we have here in NYC.”

Amazon warehouse in New York City.
A view of the inside of an Amazon warehouse in New York City.
Jason Anthony

Asked whether or not the claims within the aforementioned Reddit submit are true, an Amazon spokesperson, Sam Stephenson, stated: “We’re not able to investigate this specific situation,” as a result of the consumer has deleted their Reddit account.

“While customer demand does increase at certain points in the year, our employees are not allowed to work more than 12 hours per day, and we work with each employee to be as flexible as we can, depending on their needs,” Stephenson added.

No worker, “no matter the tier” of their employment, may match greater than 12 hours in a day or 60 hours in every week, the Amazon spokesperson reiterated.

He stated shift schedules are set by web site administration primarily based on “business requirements” however sometimes “frontline employees work 10 hours a day, four days a week.”

Employees working time beyond regulation hours are compensated “according to state and federal overtime regulations,” he stated.

According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), “No statutory or regulatory limits apply to the amount of overtime work a manager may require an employee to perform.”

But they need to obtain time beyond regulation pay for work past 40 hours “at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay” beneath the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The OPM provides: “If an employee refuses to perform overtime work, the agency may discipline the employee for failure to report for scheduled overtime duty.”

Asked what number of hours of time beyond regulation Amazon employees are required to satisfy in a 12 months, Stephenson stated: “Employees are not given specific overtime hours in a year to complete” and so they can “use their time off options to cover mandatory extra time.”

The firm tries to “provide mandatory extra time notice as far in advance as possible,” he stated. “Employees are expected to work those hours if they do not request the time off or already have time off scheduled. Additionally, we work with employees individually to support reasonable accommodations when needed.”

In response to the ALU’s newest feedback relating to working circumstances, Stephenson stated: “The health and safety of our employees is a top priority and, while it’s uncommon to find climate control in similar buildings across much of the industry, our fulfillment centers [packaging warehouses] are built with climate control and HVAC [heating, ventilation and air conditioning] systems designed to keep employees comfortable and safe all year round.”

He claimed Amazon’s groups are skilled to comply with “robust safety procedures” when working throughout hotter climate, including that the corporate’s insurance policies “meet or exceed industry standards and OHSA [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] guidance.”

The spokesperson stated: “The safety and well-being of our employees is always a top priority. We recognize that helping employees be safe in physical roles takes a lot of focus and investment,” explaining that Amazon has invested “hundreds of millions of dollars in safety in many different ways,” from a workforce of greater than 8,000 “dedicated safety professionals” to coaching and expertise.

The ALU’s Anthony additionally claimed that “not all Amazon employees are treated fairly and equal,” including that Amazon “treats you like a second class citizen” if you’re a member of the Black, Latino or LGBTQ neighborhood.

In response to Anthony’s allegations, Stephenson stated: “That’s not true—we consistently hire and welcome people from all backgrounds, and we don’t tolerate any discrimination or unequal treatment,” pointing to the corporate’s official place on range, fairness and inclusion outlined on the Amazon web site.

Asked whether or not Amazon would assist its employees happening strike, Anthony stated: “Of course Amazon won’t support that because everything is profit over safety,” including that: “All Amazon employees will face some kind of retaliation by the company” ought to they select to go on strike.

Amazon reportedly fired two staff who had been linked to efforts to unionize on the Staten Island warehouse, CNBC reported in early May.

Back in March 2020, Amazon fired a employee (Christian Smalls, the now head of ALU) who organized a walkout on the Staten Island warehouse to demand larger safety towards COVID-19.

Amazon stated on the time that Smalls acquired a number of warnings for violating social distancing tips. The firm stated he confirmed as much as the protest regardless of being advised to stay at residence for 14 days with pay as a result of he had come into contact with a co-worker who examined constructive.

Smalls is due to testify at the Amazon objection hearing today at 10 a.m. ET.

Asked whether or not Amazon helps its staff happening strike, Stephenson stated there are “many established ways” by which staff can voice their opinions internally, and “we also respect the right for some to make their opinions known externally.”

He defined: “We have an open-door policy and encourage discussions between our employees and managers” and employees “normally speak with managers one-on-one or during group meetings.”

Stephenson stated employees may use “an online platform visible to all employees at their site” the place they’ll submit questions, feedback and issues and “leaders respond within 48 hours.”

Amazon workers in New York, April 2022
Amazon employees seen on April 1, 2022, as they vote for the unionization of the Amazon Staten Island warehouse in New York.
ANDREA RENAULT/AFP by way of Getty Images

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