- Amazon employees around the world are protesting their working conditions this week, intentionally planning protests to coincide with Amazon’s annual Prime Day sales event.
- Some livestreamers on Amazon-owned Twitch are going dark to stand in solidarity with these protesters.
- "I won’t be streaming until Wednesday in support of this strike and won’t be touching Amazon’s sites during the strike," one streamer said on Twitter. "I ask that you consider doing the same!"
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People aren’t just talking about deals and discounts during this year’s Prime Day, Amazon’s annual sales event that kicked off Monday.
This year, to coincide with Prime Day, some Amazon workers organized protests against the retail giant — thousands of workers in the US and Germany are going on strike, while in the UK, Spain, and Poland, major protests are planned.
And it looks like Amazon’s employees aren’t the only ones protesting: some Twitch streamers are too.
But why are Twitch streamers going dark?
Because Amazon owns the video-game streaming service Twitch. Thus, some Twitch streamers have decided to abstain from streaming in solidarity with the protesters.
So the logic goes: Using any of Amazon’s many services is crossing the picket line during the protest. Amazon owns Twitch, and Audible, and IMDB, and Whole Foods (among many other things).
The annual sales event is one of Amazon’s biggest all year, and it’s gotten increasingly longer as the years have gone on. In 2018, it was extended to 36 hours; in 2019, it’s being extended to a two-day affair.
Moreover, Amazon is promising one-day delivery on Prime Day purchases — potentially exasperating already difficult working conditions inside Amazon’s product fulfillment centers.
For its part, Amazon issued the following statement to Business Insider regarding Prime Day protests:
"Events like Prime Day have become an opportunity for our critics, including unions, to raise awareness for their cause, in this case, increased membership dues. These groups are conjuring misinformation to work in their favor, when in fact we already offer the things they purport to be their cause — industry-leading pay, benefits, and a safe workplace for our employees. We can only conclude that the people who plan to attend the events are simply not informed. We encourage anyone to book a tour of our fulfilment centres and compare our overall pay, benefits, and workplace environment to other retailers and major employers across the country."
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