Amazon workers across Europe and the U.S. are planning to strike during Amazon Prime Day, the company’s biggest annual sale. The strike comes as workers are calling for better pay and improved working conditions.
This year, the Prime Day sale will last 48 hours, 12 hours longer than last year. With a longer sale and a new push to make same-day shipping a reality for Prime members, Amazon employees will have to work at record speeds to process and deliver the influx of packages.
“By doubling Prime Day’s duration and halving the delivery time, the company is testing hundreds of thousands of workers’ physical limits as though they were trained triathletes,” said Stuard Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.
Luckily for Amazon, the strike will likely not interfere with company’s operational abilities, as Minnesota employees are currently the only U.S. group planning to strike. Small strikes may not equate to a direct package delay for Prime customers, but this event could serve as a catalyst for future, larger strikes.
More than 600,000 people work for Amazon; if more employees duplicate Minnesota micro strikes demanding better conditions and pay, the company could find their operations affected. Amazon’s reputation for free, fast and flexible shipping would be tested.
Amazon knows that they can’t risk their dependability and is using public relations tactics to gently push back against strikers. A spokesman told Business Insider that the union groups “are conjuring misinformation to work in their favor, when in fact we already offer the things they purport to be their cause – industry-leading pay, benefits, and a safe workplace for our employees.”
With more than 100 million products forecasted to be sold during Prime Day 2019, Amazon is fortunate the strike is contained within Minnesota. The threat of small strikes throughout the company’s mainframe proves Amazon’s employees still hold the nation’s second-largest, private employer to higher employee-relation standards.