Originally published April 30
SHAKOPEE, Minn. (WCCO) -- Roughly 100 workers at the Amazon warehouse in Shakopee walked off the job Friday night in protest of low wages and lack of time off for Eid, an upcoming Muslim holiday.
In a statement, the workers said that they rallied outside the warehouse and delivered a letter of demand to the company, requesting that the internet retail giant bring back the $3 an hour pay bump for all shifts and unlimited volunteer time off so that people can see their families on events such as Eid, which begins Sunday.
The workers were joined by members of The Awood Center, an organization that supports workers in the East African communities of Minnesota.
"Imagine if you worked on Christmas and Amazon forced you to," said Tyler Hamilton, a current Amazon worker, in the statement. "You couldn't see your families, you couldn't spend time with them. That would be ridiculous, no one would like that. Amazon is doing that with Eid right now, and they get away with it -- just like they got away with lowering our pay as the cost of housing goes up, the cost of food goes up."
The workers say they have yet to receive a response from the company. Across the country, Amazon workers in other states have also walked off the job and protested for better working conditions in recent weeks. Earlier this month, workers at Amazon's warehouse on Staten Island voted to unionize, becoming the first-ever collective bargaining unit in the U.S. at the ecommerce behemoth.
When asked to comment on the protest, a spokesperson for Amazon gave WCCO-TV this statement: "Our employees are the heart of Amazon and we provide several ways for employees to raise concerns or provide feedback directly to us if they see room for improvement."
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