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Amazon warehouse employees stroll off job at Southern California air hub

Warehouse employees at Amazon’s largest air freight facility on the West Coast walked off the job Monday, demanding greater pay and aid from scorching situations they are saying are unsafe.

Organizers with a gaggle referred to as Inland Empire Amazon Staff United stated in a Fb submit that 160 workers walked out on the San Bernardino Worldwide Airport facility, which is a crucial a part of Amazon’s logistics community and one of many firm’s three U.S. “air hubs.”

In a press release, Amazon officers disputed the quantity, saying that 74 out of roughly 1,500 workers on the facility walked out.

About 900 workers on the San Bernardino airport have signed a petition calling for base pay to be elevated from $17 per hour to $22 per hour, Inland Empire Amazon Staff United stated in a press release.

“Amazon may ship the next normal for employees, however they don’t,” stated Sara Price, who has labored on the air hub because it opened in March 2021. “A warehouse is only a warehouse. An organization is only a firm. The persons are what makes all of it work, and we’re robust and united to struggle for what we deserve.”

Amazon is the most important personal sector employer within the Inland Empire, organizers stated. Of the greater than 200,000 warehouse employees within the area, 1 in 5 work at Amazon services.

“Amazon promised the Inland Empire high quality jobs,” organizers stated in one other Fb submit. “They did not ship. Amazon has compelled us to work in excessive warmth, barely paid us sufficient to afford hire, and now we’re being retaliated in opposition to for talking up.”

Paul Flaningan, an Amazon spokesperson, stated the corporate respects workers’ proper to make their opinions identified outdoors the office and that there have been “many established methods” that employees can voice issues internally.

“We’re proud to offer full-time workers at our San Bernardino Air Hub and all through the area a minimal beginning wage of $17 an hour,” Flaningan stated. “Relying on their shift, our full-time workers can earn as much as $19.25 an hour and obtain industry-leading advantages together with healthcare from Day 1, 401(ok) with 50% firm match, and as much as 20 weeks paid parental go away.”

Amazon officers are repeatedly listening to issues and taking a look at methods they’ll enhance, he stated, including that the corporate supplies aggressive pay, complete advantages and an “participating, protected work expertise.”

In July, employees submitted a petition calling for pay will increase throughout Amazon’s Prime Week gross sales occasion, saying their wages aren’t sufficient to stay on in Southern California.

Within the petition, workers stated employees making $17 per hour and dealing 40 hours per week take dwelling about $2,200 per thirty days, however the common hire in California is $1,700 and the typical in San Bernardino is $1,650, “which means that over 75% of our revenue goes to hire alone.”

“We are able to barely afford to stay in at present’s economic system,” the petition stated.

The employees additionally expressed involved about unsafe working situations brought on by extreme warmth.

Throughout July, temperatures reached a minimum of 95 levels on the airport on 24 days, organizers stated.

When workers confronted managers, Amazon created an extra relaxation space, however unsafe situations stay “in lots of work areas,” in keeping with the assertion.

“Working within the warmth looks like you’re suffocating,” stated Melissa Ojeda, who has labored on the facility for greater than a yr. “It is advisable take breaks and you’ll overheat actually simply. They don’t make it straightforward to take breaks to permit your physique to chill down.”

When the San Bernardino air hub opened final yr, organizers stated, some in the neighborhood raised issues concerning the high quality of jobs on the facility and its results on air air pollution.

A 2018 research discovered that Amazon’s flights into and out of airports in Riverside and San Bernardino counties launched about 620,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the environment and that the 2 counties had the worst ozone air pollution within the nation, air pollution that was largely attributed to the warehousing {industry}, in keeping with Amazon Staff United’s assertion.

Amazon operates 14 flights a day out and in of the 24-hour facility on the positioning of the previous Norton Air Power Base, the organizers stated.

“Amazon has stated its purpose is to function 26 flights a day,” they stated. “The variety of employees on the warehouse fluctuates, presently about 1,300 however greater than 1,800 in peak season, demonstrating the shortage of stability in these Amazon jobs.”



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