Amazon’s Muslim Workers Complain Of Dangerous Workloads During Ramadan

SEAN MACENTEE is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Muslim Employees Claim Extra Workload Is Unfair

A significant number of Muslim Amazon employees protested outside an Amazon warehouse. Workers were voicing concerns over conditions in their workplace during Ramadan. It is reported that the agitated workers are of East African descent. The protesters were workers in Shakopee and Eagan warehouses in Minnesota, located about 30 minutes away from Minneapolis. Minnesota has a substantial number of Muslims, about 200,000.

The Muslim Amazon employees working at the Eagan facility allege that the workload is dangerous and unfair. It is the holy month of Ramadan. During this month devout Muslims fast during the day. The workers claim that they were saddled with extra duties after supervisors gave each employee the workload meant for two.

The protesting Amazon employees were helped to put forward their views by Awood Center. The Awood Center defends East African worker’s rights. Muslim employees argue that they suffered exhaustion, injuries, and dehydration while working in an environment without any climate control equipment like air-conditioning. This is compounded by Muslim workers fasting.

The Eagon center has acknowledged that it has received a number of complaints regarding the issue. One worker even complained that he became so thirsty he could barely swallow. Some employees had to break their fast to drink water, creating a difficult situation where each individual had to choose between their faith and their job.

Amazon put out an official statement. Ernesto Apreze, the spokesperson for Amazon, said the company offers an accommodating and positive workplace. He pointed out that the break areas in the Eagan warehouse are air-conditioned. Rooms are present to accommodate the religious practices of all employees. The Eagan unit is already fitted with temporary prayer rooms while a permanent prayer room is being constructed. The management of the facility did not comment. There was no comment about the increased amount of responsibilities being given to employees.

This is not the first time that the Eagon facility had been scrutinized. Complaints of extreme heat led to a review by the Minnesota safety agency.

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