Amazon fulfillment center employees protest after company announces closing

After the news that an Amazon fulfillment center in Shakopee is closing, workers there and the company are at odds over what the next steps are. 

The company says the facility will cease operations at the facility on March 31. 

Amazon says they are working to transfer the roughly 900 employees, but workers says the corporation is being anything but accommodating. 

Sunday, some of those workers staged a protest asking for, among other things, better treatment.             

"Amazon, once they see that you don’t understand the system they abuse you," Khali Jam who was acting as the interpreter for the protesters said. 

Everything is up in the air for these Amazon workers protesting outside their workplace on Sunday, just weeks before the Shakopee facility closes down for good.

"They don’t know where they’re going to go from there, they’re fearing they might lose their homes ," Jama said. 

Jama spoke on behalf of the group, many of whom have scanned and sorted packages in the south metro for years, but now Amazon says its lease on the building is up at the end of the year, and the company plans to transfer employees across the metro. Otherwise, offering a minimum of four weeks severance pay to anyone who chooses not to go.

"Going to Brooklyn Park is difficult because most of them do share rides most of them don’t drive," Jama said. 

In a statement, Amazon wrote in part: "We’re working hard to accommodate their preferences during this process. For employees who choose not to stay with Amazon, several steps have been taken to make clear what assistance is available, including one-on-one meetings and open office hours." 

However, employees disagree. The group says most workers have been left confused by the transfer process and severance pay and confused by a company they say talks down to them and treats them like nothing.

"I just think the company is being racist when it comes to certain color," Jama said. 

Amazon responded Sunday, saying its offered translation services to help employees through this process.

Amazon currently has 10 centers in the Twin Cities.