Prime Day protest deliberate outdoors Bezos’ Beverly Hills mansion

At a Prime Day protest outdoors Jeff Bezos’ condominium constructing in New York Metropolis in July 2019.

Sarah Tew/CNET

This story is part of Amazon Prime Day, CNET’s guide on everything you need to know and how to make sure you get the best deal.

Prime Day is again, and so are the protests.

The Congress of Essential Workers, an activist group led by present and former Amazon warehouse staff, is planning a march towards the e-commerce large on Sunday outdoors CEO Jeff Bezos‘ mansion in Beverly Hills, California. The demonstration was scheduled simply forward of Prime Day, which kicks off on Oct. 13. The group is bringing collectively organizations representing each local weather and labor points, together with Dawn Motion and Extinction Insurrection, to boost issues about Amazon’s enterprise practices and warehouse working situations.

“Workers should not going to be handled pretty and going to have necessary time beyond regulation and don’t have any breaks for the following two months into December,” Jordan Flowers, an outspoken Amazon employee from its Staten Island warehouse who’s a frontrunner of the employee group, stated in an interview Friday.

Amongst an extended record of calls for, the group is asking for a brand new federal wealth tax to help city communities, a $30 minimal wage and hazard pay at some stage in the coronavirus pandemic. Amazon’s present minimal wage is $15, above the federal minimal of $7.25, and it typically talks up its benefits package, which incorporates medical insurance, retirement financial savings and as much as 20 weeks paid parental depart. 

The group additionally known as for the best for employees to unionize “with out worry of retaliation,” a reference to Amazon’s anti-union status. No US Amazon employees are unionized.

Amazon did not remark for this story. For anybody planning to attend the two p.m. PT occasion, masks might be necessary.

Whereas Prime Day has grow to be a chance for Amazon to point out off its membership perks and promote thousands and thousands of merchandise, the sale has additionally grow to be a platform for activism towards the corporate. Anti-Amazon demonstrations are additionally held recurrently in the course of the holiday season. Final yr, Prime Day demonstrations had been held in Minnesota, New York, Seattle, San Francisco and throughout Europe, with teams talking out on points starting from climate change to Amazon’s working situations to the corporate’s ties to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“Cancel your Prime memberships, order much less on Prime Day week and provides us time to be ready as a result of peak season is hectic,” Flowers stated in a plea to Amazon clients, referencing the vacation buying season. “We’re doing 50 or 60 hours per week with one or two days off.”

He stated he’s nonetheless an lively worker on the firm, although he hasn’t come to his warehouse since February and is on unpaid depart as a result of he has lupus, an autoimmune illness that makes him extra prone to severe well being issues if he had been to contract the novel coronavirus. Flowers added that Amazon has proven no concern for his well being points and he’s at present on state unemployment.

Flowers’ group is can also be led by Christian Smalls, an Amazon employee who gained prominence after he was fired for organizing a protest in March to name out coronavirus well being issues on the Staten Island warehouse. Amazon stated Smalls was terminated for violating a company-mandated quarantine order.

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The march on Sunday outdoors of Bezos’ mansion is clearly meant to focus on the wealth disparity between warehouse staff and their boss — the world’s richest person, who’s internet price in the course of the coronavirus has ballooned to $185 billion. The Wall Street Journal reported in February that Bezos purchased his 9-acre Beverly Hills residence from media mogul David Geffen for $165 million, a brand new report for the Los Angeles space.

Bezos has made many efforts to point out he is giving again, already pledging $10 billion for climate change and $2 billion for homeless households and training.

The protest comes simply days after Amazon disclosed almost 20,000 of its staff contracted coronavirus this yr. The corporate has instituted a bevy of security protocols to guard its warehouse employees, together with testing, temperature checks and common cleanings.

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