Local Amazon facilities plan rallies to support fellow workers

FILE - In this Aug. 3, 2017, file photo, an Amazon employee applies tape to a package before shipment at an Amazon fulfillment center in Baltimore. The online shopping giant, which already works with BP and Shell, has been trying to woo more oil and gas companies to use its technology to help them find drillable oil faster, angering workers who have been pushing Amazon to do more to combat climate change. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

HILLSBORO, Ore. - Employees at two local Amazon fulfillment centers are planning to show their support for their coworkers protesting across the country.

Protests started Monday as Amazon kicked off its huge two-day summer sale, Prime Day. It's an event the workers say would not be possible without them. Employees at a fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minnesota have been at the forefront of the demands for better working conditions, pay, and are also asking Amazon to convert more temporary employees to full time. In addition, the workforce there has seen some of their more unique demands met by the company. The vast majority are Muslim, from East Africa, and demands for worship space and reduced quotas during religious holidays have been met.

Employees and others in Seattle and San Francisco were also out protesting Monday, but with completely different demands. They presented Amazon with a petition to cut ties with ICE, and Homeland Security to protect immigrant workers at facilities.

Here in Portland, employees at facilities in Hillsboro and Northwest Portland will be showing their support for the demands of better working conditions, including reducing quotas they say are causing repetitive stress injuries on the job.

Amazon has fired back stating that it already offers competitive pay and comprehensive benefits like what these employees are asking for. Only recently did the company pledge to pay at least $15 per hour, and that was reportedly after attacks from politicians like Bernie Sanders.

Hillsboro will be hosting a BBQ, with music and speeches from local labor and religious leaders, along with former Amazon employees. It runs from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The facility is located at 5647 NE Huffman St. in Hillsboro.

The facility in Northwest Portland, at 4000 NW Yeon, will host a similar event Wednesday, July 17th from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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