Amazon Prime Day 2018 has begun, and while many shoppers are hoping to score some good deals, others are calling for boycotts. As reported by Vox, Amazon employees in Europe officially began striking last week to push for better working conditions. Supporters are encouraging shoppers to boycott Amazon Prime Day, with some even extending the boycott to Amazon-owned properties like Twitch.
The official strike announcement lists grievances from Amazon employees in several European countries, including “miserable salaries” in Poland, “very demanding measures to control times and efficiency” in France, and the lack of a “collective agreement guaranteeing the rights of all workers independently of their centre” in Germany. “[O]nly with a joint action at a European level will workers organize in those places where there is no union representation yet,” it reads.
Supporters have used social media to draw attention to the strike, boycotts, and reported working conditions at Amazon. Among the supporters is Sen. Bernie Sanders, who organized a town hall meeting with employees of Amazon (as well as Disney, McDonald’s, American Airlines, and Walmart) to discuss workers’ rights issues.
Amazon has been criticized for its treatment of workers for years. Employees reportedly suffer from poor conditions like dehydration from a lack of air conditioning and busy schedules that leave little room for bathroom breaks, forcing some workers to urinate in bottles. Meanwhile, critics point out, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world and makes around 140 times more than the average Amazon employee.
Amazon Prime Day runs until midnight on the night of Tuesday, July 17 (3 AM ET). This year’s event is expected to beat all previous years’ records; last year’s Prime Day generated an estimated $1 billion in sales.