Amazon Faces Labor Issues As Prime Day Revs Up

As Prime Day is getting ready for push-off in the U.S., workers in Spain and Germany are striking to protest working conditions at the company's warehouses, according to CNBC reports. Going by the name Amazon En Lucha, the organized labor walkout took place outside of Spain's capital city in Madrid. The strike will reportedly run until the July 18 (when the 36-hour Prime Day promotion will officially come to a close) and is meant as a call for Amazon workers throughout Europe to strike in solidarity.

This is not the first big strike at this particular warehouse – Amazon saw workers strike in March during contract negotiations. The complaints precipitating this strike are reportedly over decreased hours, eliminated bonuses and a lack of care for workers' physical well-being.

How comprehensive the strike actually is remains to be fully reported. The group leading the strike did tweet photos of empty employee parking sports at the warehouse as part of a call for a Europe-wide walkout at Amazon plants. FISASCAT, a workers' union in Italy, threw its support behind the Spanish workers in a tweet on Monday, but how widespread actual support or striking was – or will be – has yet to hit the wires.

There will, however, be confirmed demonstrations at other Amazon warehouses from labor groups. In Germany, thousands plan to walk off the job as part of a one-day strike tomorrow. Polish workers plan to stage what is called a "work to rule" day, when they do nothing more than the bare minimum to avoid firing.

Amazon has officially responded that it is a "fair and reasonable employer."

"Amazon’s total compensation in Madrid is in the high range of the logistics sector, and consists of base pay and an extensive benefits package: private medical insurance, a company pension plan, life insurance, employee discount and a Career Choice program that provides employees funding for adult education, offering to pre-pay 95 percent of tuition and associated fees for nationally recognized courses, over four years," the spokesperson said. "Amazon has already invested over 1.1 billion euros ($1.29 billion) in Spain and created over 2,000 permanent jobs since 2011 and we continue to be committed to Spain."

Amazon has faced criticisms for its warehouse conditions in the past, though the eCommerce company has consistently denied accusations that it runs unsafe warehouses in the U.S. and around the world.

Most think that the Spanish strikes will do little to affect the massive momentum of Amazon Prime Day, which Amazon still predicts will be a big day for a firm that specializes in big days at this point.



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