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In midst of 'Prime Day,' Amazon workers in Shakopee to strike

Updated: July 15, 2019 08:50 AM

Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Shakopee said they'll strike Monday during the online retail and entertainment giant's "Prime Day" in a continued effort to push for improving pay and working conditions for the facility's East African workforce.

The strike and rally in Shakopee are being organized by the Awood Center, a group that advocates for Somali and other East African workers.

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Awood, which means "power" in Somali, was formed as a partnership between the Minnesota chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations and Service Employees International Union Local 26.

RELATED: Amazon Minnesota warehouse workers plan 'Prime Day' strike

Workers at the Shakopee facility said they have been organizing for the past year and a half, saying the retail giant is raking in record profits while their jobs become increasingly unstable. 

Employees said they have protested before, including a strike during this past winter. So far, they say, management has not addressed their concerns.

Amazon released a statement, saying, in part, "We encourage anyone to compare our pay, benefits, and workplace to other retailers and major employers in the Shakopee community and across the country - and we invite anyone to see for themselves by taking a tour of the facility."

In response to Amazon's statement, the Awood Center group said, "Workers here in Minnesota have been pushing to get their demands heard for nearly 18 months. Instead of real progress on issues like safe and reliable jobs, respecting and promoting East African workers and addressing issues like climate change, they've been facing retaliation in the workplace. In order to show that they won't wait around any longer in the face of these injustices, workers decided to go on strike on Prime Day to show they are serious about achieving a voice on the job to win the things families in Minnesota and across the country deserve."

The rally is expected to begin at 4 p.m. Even though it's happening in the midst of "Prime Day," Amazon officials said they do not expect shipments to be disrupted.

RELATED: Amazon Prime Day now 48 hours

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