Somali Amazon Workers Plan to Strike on Prime Day
Somali Amazon workers plan to strike at the Shakopee, MN fulfillment center on Amazon's biggest day of the year.
Shakopee, MN - East African workers rights organization, The Awood Center has planned a strike for Amazon's biggest day of the year, Amazon Prime Day Monday, 7/15/19. Rep. Ilhan Omar is expected to attend.
AWOOD is the Somali word for POWER. The Awood Center is an organization whose mission is to build economic and political power amongst East African workers.
Apparently Somali Week Presented by Amazon was not enough to satisfy this community's growing list of demands. According to Awood's event page, the strike is aimed at pressuring Amazon to continue to cater to the Somali Muslim community. They are pushing for "better working conditions" i.e. lower quotas and paid prayer breaks,"advancement opportunities", i.e. management or leadership positions exclusively for the Somali workforce.
According to Amazon, even with only entry level qualifications and limited English speaking skills, they offer starting wages ranging from $16.25-$20.80 an hour, comprehensive benefits including health care and up to 20 weeks parental leave. Amazon is an "Equal Opportunity Employer". That means that all workers should be treated the same, why should one group of workers be allowed to continue to demand and receive special privileges? Just ask Congresswoman Ilhan Omar who stood with The Awood Center and Isaiah back in December 2018 at the "Amazon: Do Right for MN Workers and Communities!" protest. Ilhan is expected to attend the July 15th strike but has not been officially confirmed.
"AWOOD is the Somali word for POWER. The Awood Center is an organization whose mission is to build economic and political power amongst East African workers." awoodcenter.org
The Awood Center's Amazon Worker Strike event page states, "On Amazon’s Prime Day, July 15th, Amazon warehouse workers at MSP1 in Shakopee will go on strike as part of their continued push on the corporate giant to provide safe and reliable jobs, show respect for workers and their right to organize for better working conditions, open up opportunities for advancement for the predominantly East African workforce, and take concrete action to address pressing issues like climate change." Notice how they throw climate change into the mix with East African workers rights? Then they go on to say,"Amazon workers in Minnesota have been organizing over the last 18 months supported by the Awood Center, a worker center based in Minneapolis that works to build power amongst workers in the East African community of Minnesota" and "workers are still struggling to make these critical jobs ones that are safe, reliable and where the majority East African workforce is respected and promoted to leadership positions."
They chose to strike just days after "Somali Week Presented by Amazon" on Amazon's biggest day of the year in the name of "power for East African workers". Can you say Sharia law?