Rep.-elect Ilhan Omar appeared at rally at Amazon warehouse

In this May 9, 2017, file photo, a package from Amazon Prime is loaded for delivery in New York. Photo: AP/ Mark Lennihan
In this May 9, 2017, file photo, a package from Amazon Prime is loaded for delivery in New York.

December 14, 2018 07:46 PM

Minnesota Amazon workers, Somali community leaders and their allies rallied in suburban Minneapolis at the height of the busy holiday season to demand better working conditions.

Joining them Friday evening at an Amazon warehouse in Shakopee was U.S. Rep.-elect Ilhan Omar, who's the first Somali-American and one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress.

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Amazon's fulfillment center in Shakopee employs more than 1,500 workers. The online retail giant estimates that about 30 percent of the workers there are East African.


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The workers are being represented by the nonprofit Awood Center. But the Star Tribune reports the two sides have not resolved their differences, which include increasing workloads and limited advancement opportunities. Workers spoke of harsh conditions during Friday's rally.

Amazon released the following statement in response to the rally:

"We work hard every day to ensure all of our employees are treated fairly and with dignity and respect, including here in Minnesota where we have an open and direct dialogue with employees. Amazon offers a great employment opportunity with excellent pay – ranging here from $16.25-$20.80 an hour, and comprehensive benefits including health care, up to 20 weeks parental leave, paid education, promotional opportunities, and more. I encourage anyone to compare our pay, benefits, and workplace to other retailers and major employers in the Shakopee community and across the country. We invite anyone to see for themselves and take a tour through our fulfillment center tour program."

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The Associated Press

(Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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