Dozens of Amazon employees at the company’s air hub in San Bernardino, Calif., on Monday abandoned their workstations mid-shift over low wages and concerns regarding heat safety.
The walkout in Southern California marks the first coordinated labor action in Amazon’s growing airfreight division, which uses Prime-branded planes to fly packages and goods around the country much like UPS or FedEx. The employees, who are independently organized, said they didn’t plan to return to work on Monday, in an effort to pressure Amazon to raise wages and improve safety.
Organizers said more than 150 people walked out Monday afternoon, and managers had already slowed some operations in anticipation of the action. While a small fraction of the 1,500 employees who work at the hub in various shifts walked out, such a work stoppage can create logistical headaches and disruptions.
Amazon spokesman Paul Flaningan contested that number, saying the company’s tally of workers who participated was approximately 74.