By Cameron Fure
MNA Political Organizer
On Monday, July 15, workers at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Shakopee held a picket to bring light to unfair working conditions at their sprawling worksite in the southeast metro. Workers from New York, Seattle, San Francisco and locations across Europe were also holding demonstrations to raise awareness on “Prime Day,” which is one of the largest shopping days of the year.
Workers were highlighting issues such as humane workloads, job security around not hiring “temp” workers, stopping unfair write-ups, investment in communities, and ending retaliation.
The event was organized by the Awood Center, which seeks to bring power to East African workers. Mohamed Hassan, a packer in the fulfillment center, joined the picket a few hours before his shift was over on Monday afternoon. “We were expecting a lot of workers to come out today,” he said at a rally. “There were managers, supervisors and police that are standing at the gates and front doors, so they’re scared because of that. That’s the reason they couldn’t come out, and I’m sad for that.”
MNA nurses and many other labor groups and community action groups were present in a strong showing of solidarity. MNA President, Mary C. Turner, RN, said, “MNA nurses are proud to stand in solidarity with Amazon workers in their fight for fair working conditions. As nurses, we know that all workers deserve respect and dignity on the job, and that repetitive injuries can result from treating workers like robots.”
In addition to local support, workers had support from U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, who tweeted: “Their fight for safe and reliable jobs is another reminder that we must come together to hold big corporations accountable.”
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and presidential candidate also weighed in, “It is not too much to ask that a company owned by the wealthiest person in the world treat its workers with dignity and respect,” referring to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who has an estimated net worth of $120 billion. If you’d like to get involved, contact The Awood Center at 612-888-2201 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.