Amazon workers at an Illinois facility held protests during the Prime sale event.

Day shift workers at the MDW2 warehouse in Joliet took the day off to join supporters on Tuesday, October 11.

Amazon employees are demanding safe working conditions, a minimum wage of $25 per hour, and “work with dignity.”

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Warehouse Workers for Justice spokesperson, Andrew Herrera estimated about 30 day-shift staffers left their workplace after clocking out on personal time. 

The demonstration happened on the first day of Amazon’s fall Prime Early Access sale.

It’s the first time Amazon has held a second mega discount sale following its summer Prime Day.

Steve Broadway, an operator who processes boxes as they enter the warehouse, walked out on Tuesday.

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Broadway said he expected the strike would show Amazon executives where the workers are coming from.

Tommy Carden, a WWJ organizer, has been organizing with Amazon workers in Joliet.

Carden said employees “want to be safe at work, they want to be paid fairly for that work and they want to work with dignity and respect.”

The group said that over 600 workers have signed a petition.

They demanded improved health and safety standards at the factory and a higher base pay rate.

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Carden estimates that the Joliet operation employs 400 to 600 day-shift workers.

He said many of the workers there earn between $18 and $19 per hour.

Carden expressed worry about repetitive stress injuries among Joliet plant workers.

Amazon said customer fulfillment and transportation workers earn between $16 and $26 per hour, with an hourly wage of more than $19.

Workers at the facility reported in May that racial death threats were scribbled on a toilet wall.

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Some employees filed complaints with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission this summer, claiming a discriminatory work atmosphere.

It included allegations that the corporation let white employees at the site dress in Confederate flag apparel while at work.

The EEOC has received complaints from over 40 workers at the plant.

One employee said she was dismissed after informing the firm she would sue if Amazon did not address staff’s concerns about the racist graffiti.

Amazon spokesperson Richard Rocha said racism was “certainly not tolerated by Amazon.”

He added that the company “works hard to protect our employees from any form of discrimination and to provide an environment where employees feel safe.”

Source: Chicago Tribune

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