This Monday is Amazon Prime Day, and like every other year, that means you’ll have the chance to get a great deal on some dongles. But this year, unlike every other year, Prime Day means you’ll also have the chance to stand in solidarity with workers protesting working conditions at Amazon fulfillment centers.
On Monday, while you were shopping for Echoes, 1,800 Amazon workers went on strike in Spain, and “thousands” more are set to strike on Tuesday in Germany, according to the Washington Post.
“We in Madrid believe that only if we struggle together will we gain recognition for our demands,” read a statement from Amazon en Lucha — the group calling for the strike — ahead of the planned protest. “Similarly, only with a joint action at a European level will workers organize in those places where there is no union representation yet.”
The workers are striking in protest of a host of issues ranging from low wages to piss-poor working conditions.
In a statement to the Observer, the e-commerce giant disputed its striking workers’ claims.
“We don’t recognize these allegations as an accurate portrayal of activities in our buildings,” the company spokesperson said.
But whether Amazon recognizes their claims or not, the strikers have generated a raft of negative press about the tech giant on one of its biggest days. And while that’s heartening for anyone who cares about the workers of the world, we can’t imagine that any of Amazon’s higher-ups care too much. After all, Jeff Bezos became the richest person ever in modern history today, and, despite problems like Monday site outages for some customers, the company still claims the cash is rolling in.
“Many [customers] are shopping successfully – in the first hour of Prime Day in the U.S., customers have ordered more items compared to the first hour last year,” read an Amazon statement in part. “There are hundreds of thousands of deals to come and more than 34 hours to shop Prime Day.”
The fact that Amazon paid no federal income taxes in 2017 must also be pretty nice.
All of that, plus the seemingly unavoidable conclusion that Amazon appears to simply not care about the wellbeing of its workers (I mean, come on), suggests that this strike is barely registering a blip on Bezos’s radar.
But the rich aren’t like the rest of us. Those of us who aren’t making $230,000 a minute might be reluctant to cross a picket line — even a digital one. And that’s a sentiment that striking Amazon workers are counting on as they demand higher wages and fair treatment this Prime Day.