BEVERLY HILLS—Protesters, which consisted of Amazon employees, marched to the company CEO Jeff Bezos’ Beverly Hills home on Sunday, October 4, demanding that Amazon take action against labor and climate justice, including reform of its work conditions under the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Congress Of Essential Workers, an activist group of Amazon employees, announced the march, “The Wrong Amazon Is Burning” to be scheduled at 2 p.m. on October 4 at Will Rogers Memorial Park. They planned to start marching at 3:00 p.m. from Will Rogers Memorial Park to Bezos’ home. The protest was scheduled ahead of Amazon Prime Day on October 13.
They published a schedule of the rally including a list of what they are demanding from Amazon. They ask for “a wealth tax on billionaires” and “a decent living wage of $30/hour minimum for all Amazon employees, Medicare and childcare.”
The 17 demands include the following:
- All employees to be retroactively paid for all unpaid time they have used from March until the facilities are safe for workers.
- Employees who receive a COVID-19 test are to be placed on paid leave until test results are confirmed, and not to return until they test negative for COVID-19 with 100% percent pay not a percentage.
- Amazon must be transparent and honest about the number of cases they have in their facilities.
- $30/hour minimum – We demand a living wage! Jeff Bezos net worth is $188 billion dollars and is trending to be the world’s first Trillionaire.
- Money generated from the Wealth Tax is to be distributed not only to fund Amazon workers but also to help deal with global crises like Climate control, Homelessness, and Pandemics.
Leader Christian Smalls worked at the company for 5 years, but was fired from the company when “he helped organize a work stoppage at the company’s warehouse on Staten Island, New York.” His goal was “demand justice for essential workers,” and he noted all participants should wear masks.
Demonstrators gathered at Will Rogers Memorial Park at 9650 Sunset Blvd. At 3:54 p.m., city of Beverly Hills tweeted that the protesters were marching north on Benedict Canyon Drive, and traffic may be impacted as a result.
On Twitter, video footage depicted protesters marching towards Bezos’ house and chanting “Tax Bezos.” At about 4 p.m., they arrived and started making speeches.
Amazon spokesperson Maria Boschetti told City News Service they already offer “industry-leading pay, a variety of benefits packages, and opportunities for career growth, all while working in a safe, modern work environment.” She added that Amazon encourages people demanding better conditions to communicate directly with their boss. She insisted that its working environment is better than other retailers across the country.
On their website, Amazon highlights what they do for each employee:
- Thank You bonus totaling over $500 million.
- Someone diagnosed with COVID-19 will receive up to two weeks of paid time off, in addition to their other paid and unpaid time off options.
- Distribution of personal protective gear, such as masks for our employees, and implemented disinfectant spraying and temperature checks across our operations worldwide.
- $25 million relief fund for partners and seasonal associates facing financial hardship or quarantine.