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Shoppers are cancelling Amazon Prime to support worker protests

Many Amazon workers, globally, have become increasingly discontent with their pay and conditions and they are beginning to take action. In acts of solidarity, many shoppers have chosen 'Prime Day' to cancel their memberships.

Amazon would prefer its workers to be pitching in and dealing with the large increases in demand that come with Prime Day (or rather the two consecutive days of discounts for members of Amazon's premium subscription service). By the end of the first day of the Prime discounts, Amazon had cleared $4 billion. Despite the huge profits, 50 percent of Amazon employees earn less than $28,446. Amazon now has more than half a million employees worldwide.

Due to what many consider to be low pay (and seeking a 'living wage'), and poor working conditions where employees are continually required to 'watch the clock', many workers and labor unions have opted to use Prime Day to engage in industrial action.

According to UNI Global Union scores of Amazon workers across Europe took part in protesting and striking to win safer working conditions, living wages, and collective agreements with their unions at the e-giant’s warehouses. Amazon employees and supporters have taken action in Germany, the UK, Spain, and Poland. Warehouse workers in the United States walked off the job as well. As an example group of warehouse workers in Shakopee, Minnesota elected to strike. At this center workers have a target of packing 230 items per hour and there are reports of workers being refused restroom and prayer breaks. This is just one example.

Many customers appear to supporting the workers and one way of expressing this support is by hitting Amazon where it is likely to notice the most - money. A campaign is running to encourage users of Amazon Prime to cancel their subscriptions. Cancelling Prime is not straightforward, however there are websites outlining how to do so.

Protest against Amazon by East African workers. Copyright: Fibonacci Blue

Sources: Digital Journal, UNI Global Union, Bloomberg, Business Insider

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