Amazon Workers Mark Prime Day in Joliet with Staff Walkout
MDW2 workers demand safe working conditions, fair pay, and work with dignity
Amazon Warehouse workers are staging a walkout today at 1 p.m. to mark Prime Day at the MDW2 facility in Joliet, a central cog in Amazon’s regional distribution network.
MDW2 workers are demanding a workplace that is safe from violence, injury, and sexual harassment and jobs that offer a living wage while preserving the dignity of workers. Nearly 700 workers have signed a petition calling for stronger health and safety policies as well as a base pay rate of $25/hr.
As the only cross-dock facility in Illinois, MDW2 is of central importance to the Amazon supply chain in one of the country’s biggest markets. Cross-dock facilities act as a central hub with products coming in from vendors around the world to be sorted and distributed to regional fulfillment centers around the clock. If this facility were to shut down, it would severely hamper Amazon operations across a critical region.
“Workers have been fighting to organize here for months and we’re proud to stand in solidarity with them as they walk out to exercise their rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act.” said Marcos Ceniceros, Executive Director of Warehouse Workers for Justice.
In May, racist death threats were left in an MDW2 bathroom, leaving many workers afraid for their safety. In response to demands for improved safety precautions at work, workers were met with inaction and retaliation which has led to an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint filed against the company in July. To date there have been approximately 50 EEOC complaints filed by MDW2 workers.
“After death threats were made in the warehouse, Amazon installed metal detectors but they only scan people walking out, not anyone walking in.” said Destiny Collins a worker at MDW2, “Even when we’re being threatened, Amazon is only worried about us stealing a few dollars worth of merchandise, not our lives. To them the only thing that’s disposable in the warehouse is us.”