Amazon Workers In Minnesota Complain Of Workplace Conditions

Written by Ann Brown

A group of workers at an Amazon facility in Eagan, Minnesota, are not too happy. In fact, they recently held a press conference talking about how horrible the work conditions are. Most of the workers are East African employees and they have asked the online giant to improve conditions, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

The news conference was organized by the Awood Center, which defends the rights of East African workers.

“The employees allege they have experienced exhaustion, dehydration and injuries while working without air conditioning. Workers said the conditions are particularly difficult for Muslim workers who are celebrating Ramadan and observing a strict fast,” AP reported.

This isn’t the first time Amazon employees at this facility have complained. The Awood Center reports that during the last two months, it received more than a dozen complaints from Amazon workers, including about “work being done by individuals that used to be done in teams.”

A Minnesota workplace safety agency investigated the Eagan Amazon facility twice before, according to James Honerman, a spokesman for the State Department of Labor and Industry. In a 2016 complaint, employees said they were experiencing symptoms of excessive heat. Although the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration did inspections, Amazon was not cited.

In response to complaints, Amazon spokesman Ernesto Apreza told AP that the company provides a “positive and accommodating workplace.”

Amazon warehouses across the country have had problems and complaints.

“In recent years, reports have emerged about difficult working conditions at Amazon’s warehouses, including deaths at two Amazon warehouses in 2014. The company also came under fire in 2011 for extreme heat at its warehouses that caused “heat-related injuries.” Amazon said at the time that it took emergency actions during heat waves and subsequently installed cooling systems in its warehouses,” the New York Times reported.

Amazon workers are not just complaining in the U.S.

“A 94-page report detailing poor working conditions at a Chinese Amazon facility has emerged barely two months after Amazon was accused of overly strict rules on breaks at its U.K. fulfillment centre,” CNET reported.

Assembling Echo speakers and Kindles among other Amazon products, workers in Hengyang, China, report having to work more than 100 hours of overtime every month. New York-based labor watchdog, China Labor Watch, found that in one instance, employees worked 14 consecutive days during peak season.

Amazon has also been dealing with employees who are unhappy about the company’s lack of diversity, and about doing facial recognition work for the U.S. government, among other concerns.

Amazon
Featuring: Jeff Bezos

 

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About Ann Brown
Ann Brown has been a freelance writer for more than two decades. Her work has appeared in CocoaFab, Black Enterprise, Essence, MadameNoire.com, New York Trend, Upscale, Moguldom, AFKInsider, The Network Journal, Playboy, Africa Strictly Business, For Harriet, Pathfinders, Black Meetings & Tourism, Frequent Flier, Girl, Honey, Source Sports, The Source, Black Radio Exclusive, and Launch. She studied journalism at New York University and has her B.A. Born in New York, Ann lived in Praia, Cabo Verde, for nearly a decade. She created “An American In Cabo Verde,” a Facebook community.