Prime Day-Ramadan conflict spurs rare Amazon worker agitation

44
566

Nimo Omar speaks at a news conference demanding Amazon curb heavy workloads for East African workers at Amazon’s warehouse in Eagan, Minn., as they fast and to let them take time off without penalty for Eid, the festival that ends Ramadan. (Emma Sapong / Associated Press)

The run-up to Amazon Prime Day, the e-commerce giant’s big July sales promotion, overlaps with Ramadan, 30 sacred days during which many observant Muslims fast and seek time off.

That’s creating tension in Minnesota’s Twin Cities region, where activists say Amazon.com Inc. employs more than 1,000 East African Muslim immigrants at four warehouses. Amazon needs to stuff its facilities with inventory in preparation for one of its busiest days of the year at the very time many of those workers want a break.

The conflicting demands of the religious holiday and the corporate one have helped spur something almost unheard of: concerted workplace activism by employees of Amazon. In a tight labor market, at a sensitive moment for management, employees say the company is making moves to address the culture clash.

“We don’t want to pick between our wages and our faith,” said Abdirahman Ali, one of dozens of workers from the four facilities who organizers say have become leaders in the effort.

In a statement, Amazon said, “We offer a positive, safe and accommodating workplace for employees, including providing a great pay of $15 per hour and comprehensive benefits. We respect the religious practices of employees and offer accommodations as needed.”

One person familiar with the situation, who asked not to be identified giving details about it, said that Amazon has historically made accommodations for workers observing Ramadan, such as providing prayer space and mats and adjusting break times.

Amazon has largely avoided the consumer backlash associated with “Christmas creep” — retailers opening on Thanksgiving Day to kick off the season, only to take heat from employees and customers for commercializing the November holiday — since all shopping is done digitally and its warehouse workers toil out of sight of customers. The clash over Ramadan is a rare public display of Amazon’s warehouse workers seeking relief from the demands of a web store that never closes.

On Monday, organizers said, 15 Amazon employees and a few dozen other activists converged on the retailer’s Eagan, Minn., delivery center, where they rallied outside and then filled the entryway, chanting, “Yes we can” in Somali and English.

The demonstrators handed a management representative a letter with a series of requests, including a call to curb their heavy workloads while they’re fasting and to let them take time off without penalty for Eid, the festival that ends Ramadan.

That followed organizing last month at Amazon’s fulfillment center in nearby Shakopee, where employees circulated fliers throughout the building urging their co-workers to wear shirts and hijabs that were blue, the color of the Somali flag, on a chosen day to show support for similar demands. Before the day employees had designated, workers said, the facility’s top manager pulled them together to announce that the company was creating on-site prayer rooms and would ease up on employees’ quotas for the duration of the fast.

“That showed us that we are very powerful,” said Aaisha Jama, an employee at the facility who’s been mobilizing colleagues for the cause and working with counterparts from other sites.

Amazon has been on a years-long hiring binge to accommodate sales growth. It had 563,100 employees as of March 31, up 60% from a year earlier, mainly because of its acquisition of Whole Foods Market Inc. but also because of new warehouses around the country.

44 COMMENTS

  1. I just want to say I’m new to blogs and absolutely liked this web site. Very likely I’m planning to bookmark your site . You actually have wonderful articles. Appreciate it for sharing your webpage.

  2. I happen to be commenting to let you be aware of what a cool experience our child experienced reading your blog. She came to understand lots of things, with the inclusion of what it’s like to have an awesome giving style to let a number of people without problems gain knowledge of selected tricky topics. You actually exceeded visitors’ desires. Many thanks for churning out such invaluable, healthy, educational not to mention unique thoughts on this topic to Mary.

  3. I genuinely enjoy looking through on this website , it has wonderful posts . “The longing to produce great inspirations didn’t produce anything but more longing.” by Sophie Kerr.

  4. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive learn something like this before. So nice to find somebody with some original ideas on this subject. realy thanks for starting this up. this website is something that is wanted on the net, someone with just a little originality. helpful job for bringing one thing new to the web!

  5. I do agree with all the ideas you have presented in your post. They are very convincing and can definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are very short for newbies. Could you please lengthen them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

  6. You have remarked very interesting points ! ps decent website . “Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness.” by Confucius.

  7. I am so happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.

  8. Hello, you used to write great, but the last several posts have been kinda boring¡K I miss your great writings. Past few posts are just a bit out of track! come on!

  9. You really make it appear really easy together with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually one thing that I feel I might by no means understand. It sort of feels too complicated and very wide for me. I’m taking a look forward to your subsequent put up, I’ll attempt to get the hold of it!

  10. Hello There. I found your blog the use of msn. That is an extremely smartly written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your helpful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely comeback.

  11. I have figured out some significant things through your blog post post. One other point I would like to convey is that there are various games that you can buy which are designed in particular for toddler age young children. They involve pattern acceptance, colors, wildlife, and patterns. These usually focus on familiarization in lieu of memorization. This helps to keep children engaged without having a sensation like they are studying. Thanks

  12. I like what you guys are up too. Such clever work and reporting! Keep up the superb works guys I¡¦ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it’ll improve the value of my site 🙂

  13. Rattling fantastic info can be found on web blog . “I don’t know what will be used in the next world war, but the 4th will be fought with stones.” by Albert Einstein.

  14. I have been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be much more useful than ever before.

  15. Thanks for your interesting article. One other problem is that mesothelioma cancer is generally brought on by the breathing of materials from mesothelioma, which is a extremely dangerous material. It truly is commonly witnessed among employees in the construction industry who’ve long contact with asbestos. It could be caused by living in asbestos insulated buildings for long periods of time, Genes plays a crucial role, and some persons are more vulnerable for the risk as compared with others.

  16. Good website! I really love how it is simple on my eyes and the data are well written. I’m wondering how I might be notified when a new post has been made. I’ve subscribed to your feed which must do the trick! Have a nice day!

  17. I have mastered some new points from your web site about pc’s. Another thing I have always presumed is that computers have become a specific thing that each household must have for a lot of reasons. They provide convenient ways in which to organize homes, pay bills, search for information, study, pay attention to music and even watch tv series. An innovative technique to complete all of these tasks is to use a computer. These pcs are mobile, small, strong and portable.

  18. Hey There. I discovered your weblog using msn. This is a very smartly written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and come back to learn extra of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly comeback.

  19. Hi would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re working with? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you recommend a good internet hosting provider at a honest price? Kudos, I appreciate it!

  20. Hello my family member! I want to say that this article is awesome, nice written and come with almost all important infos. I’d like to peer extra posts like this.

  21. I’d have to verify with you here. Which isn’t something I often do! I enjoy studying a submit that may make people think. Additionally, thanks for permitting me to comment!

  22. Thanks for the strategies presented. One thing I also believe is always that credit cards offering a 0% apr often bait consumers together with zero interest rate, instant endorsement and easy on the web balance transfers, but beware of the number one factor that may void that 0% easy neighborhood annual percentage rate and as well as throw anybody out into the poor house quickly.

  23. You actually make it seem really easy together with your presentation however I in finding this matter to be actually one thing which I believe I might never understand. It seems too complex and extremely extensive for me. I am looking ahead in your next publish, I will attempt to get the cling of it!

  24. Excellent items from you, man. I have be mindful your stuff previous to and you are just too excellent. I actually like what you have bought right here, certainly like what you are stating and the way in which in which you are saying it. You’re making it enjoyable and you still take care of to stay it sensible. I can not wait to learn much more from you. That is actually a great site.

  25. It’s perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you some interesting things or tips. Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article. I wish to read more things about it!

  26. Hi there this is somewhat of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  27. I am really loving the theme/design of your blog. Do you ever run into any browser compatibility problems? A few of my blog visitors have complained about my website not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Firefox. Do you have any ideas to help fix this problem?

  28. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed! Very useful info particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such info much. I was looking for this particular info for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here