We Talked to People Who Are Boycotting Amazon Prime Day

People are claiming that they plan on boycotting Amazon Prime Day. Motherboard spoke with four of these people and asked why they’re boycotting.
July 15, 2019, 3:38pm
An Amazon truck.
Image: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Prime Day—Amazon’s extravagant celebration of discounts across its platform—is today (and tomorrow). But on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, people are encouraging others to “not be scabs” by participating in Prime Day.

Amazon said in an email that Prime Day demonstrations are opportunistic for “critics” like “unions.”

“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,” an Amazon spokesperson said. You can read the full statement here.


Motherboard spoke with four people who plan on boycotting Amazon Prime Day.

Kelsey, age 26 from Baltimore, said that she’s boycotting Prime Day because warehouse workers in Minnesota are doing a six-hour walkout on July 15 in order to resist high shipping quotas.

“I think it’s important to support worker collective action,” Kelsey said. “I essentially see shopping on Amazon on the day of the walkout as crossing a picket line.”

Mateo Ramirez, age 20 from Florida, said via Instagram DM that he’s boycotting Prime Day in order to show opposition to Amazon’s union-busting and low minimum wages. Amazon recently raised its company minimum wage to $15/hour, but only while cutting stock benefits and incentive pay.

“I work in marketing and economics so I know about the logistics of Amazon and I know that in order to provide the services that they provide, employees needs to be working diligently Around the Clock, but I also believe that a company with as much money and assets as Amazon can afford to give its employees sufficient breaks,” Ramirez said. “As a consumer, I would be more than willing to sacrifice one day shipping to ensure that employees are working in a healthy environment.”

A teenager from Georgia, who said she could not talk to the press without permission from her parents, said she’s not participating in Prime Day in order to protest working conditions in Amazon facilities both in the US and abroad.

The Hengyang Foxconn facility in China, which helps make Kindles, has been accused of relying on “dispatch workers,” or contractors, who are offered low wages and no sick leave. Amazon relies on Amazon Flex contract drivers in certain American regions, who similarly, are offered low pay, little security, and no sick leave.

“Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos makes an ungodly amount of money,” Lila added. “Anyone who has a net worth of 100+ billion dollars should be able to offer their employees paid sick & maternal leave, safe working conditions, and a livable wage.”

Stephen Morris, age 21 from North Carolinas, said that he’s boycotting Prime Day to show solidarity with Amazon employees who are attempting to organize their warehouses.

“[Warehouse workers] striking and us boycotting in solidarity is meant to scare the incredibly wealthy leeches who while not actually producing the value of the company will reap all the reward,” Morris said. “The money they make from this exhausting menial labor is a small fraction of what they’re worth.”