Amazon Workers in Southern California Strike for $5 Hourly Raise

    Amazon workers, carrying red signs that said “Beware Amazon Air”.
    By: BLOOMBERG
    | Updated on: Oct 15 2022, 20:07 IST
    Amazon
    The one-day strike at the facility, which employs more than 1,500 people, followed summer protests that also raised the issues of pay and working conditions. (AFP)
    Amazon
    The one-day strike at the facility, which employs more than 1,500 people, followed summer protests that also raised the issues of pay and working conditions. (AFP)

    Dozens of Amazon.com Inc. workers at a Southern California air hub walked off the job Friday demanding raises of $5 per hour and better working conditions, the latest sign of employee unrest for the online retailer.

    The workers, carrying red signs that said “Beware Amazon Air” and chanting “living wages now,” marched in front of the facility in San Bernardino, California, about 60 miles (96 km) east of Lost Angeles. The one-day strike at the facility, which employs more than 1,500 people, followed summer protests that also raised the issues of pay and working conditions.

    Workers said they gave Amazon an Oct. 10 deadline to meet their demand for raises that would increase the starting wage at the facility to about $22 per hour. Daniel Rivera, 28, who participated in the strike, said he received a $1 per hour raise in September that pushed his hourly earnings to $18.50.

    “Even with the dollar raise, it's not a livable wage for us,” he said. Many of the workers at the site load and unload cargo planes.

    The Seattle-based e-commerce giant is fending off union campaigns around the country. Earlier this week, Amazon workers at a warehouse in Moreno Valley, California -- about 20 miles from the San Bernardino air hub -- filed paperwork to join the upstart Amazon Labor Union. Workers at a Staten Island warehouse in New York voted in April to join the union, but the company is seeking to overturn the results. On Tuesday, the National Labor Relations Board is scheduled to tally votes to determine if workers at an Amazon warehouse near Albany, New York, will form a local affiliated with the Amazon Labor Union.

    Amazon said wages at its US facilities range from $16 to $26 an hour depending on position and location. Employee benefits include medical coverage and 401(k) retirement plans, the company said in a statement.

    “While we are always listening and working on ways to improve the experience, we're proud to offer compensation packages that not only include great pay, but also provide comprehensive benefits for regular full-time employees,” spokeswoman Mary Kate Paradis said.

    The Inland Empire Amazon Workers United group said 100 employees participated in the strike, with more expected to join during the Friday night shift. The group hasn't petitioned to form a union.

    Amazon workers at facilities near Atlanta and Chicago staged similar protests earlier this week demanding better pay.

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    First Published Date: 15 Oct, 20:07 IST
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