A 28year old lady named Khadra Ibrahin, the Somali immigrant staying with her two children in Minneapolis was working at the Amazon Shakopee fulfillment office since two years. Ibrahin has to pray 5 times in a day as she is the practicing Muslim. As, the associates of Amazon work on strict hourly quota, she is unable to take a break for prayer. The associated are forced to work without breaks when the demands are more. The present packing rate of warehouse is 240 boxes every hour, but it has risen to about 400 boxes per hour, says Ibrahin. The associates are also charged with fines if they fail to achieve this rate, and they receive a letter from their manager regarding their reduced pace, which may even lead to termination of associates.
Ibrahin usually tries to pray at the time of breaks. “The breaks are reducing the rate of packing, and it may also lead to termination. So we prefer to pray instead of going bathroom mostly, and we have to control the bodily requirements”, she said during a phone interview. She says the employees working in Amazon are expecting to get treated humanely, as many of the associates are facing discrimination due to their ethnicity, religion and race.
The community and the workers both need respect, says executive director, Awood Center, Abdirahman Muse, who works along with local East Africans as a team and helps the workers of Amazon to organize. The company should respond to the demands of employees. We don’t need charity; we just want respect & fair return for our hard work which contributes in getting profits to the company. Minneapolis provides a large number of job opportunities for immigrants such as Ibrahin, thus the Minnesota state has robust infrastructure which can accommodate immigrants and refugees.