Dozens of Muslim workers protested outside of an Amazon warehouse center south of Minneapolis on Monday, voicing their concerns over workplace conditions during Ramadan, Islam's holy month.
What is going on?
According to WCCO-TV, the workers at the Eagan facility claim their rigorous workload is "unfair" and "dangerous." That's because during Ramadan, which ends mid-June, Muslims are required to fast during daylight hours, meaning they are unable to eat or drink.
Also, the workers claim they have been given extra duties after supervisors recently said some two-person jobs will be handled by just one person.
"I have taken these concerns to our supervisors and leaders at Amazon to address because during the month of Ramadan, we are fasting — and at least the working conditions can be changed, but they have not done so," one worker said over a loudspeaker at the demonstration.
Following their demonstration, the workers presented management with a letter detailing their concerns.
How did Amazon respond?
Ernesto Apreza, a company spokesperson, told WCCO Amazon respects the religious rights of its workers and has made accommodations for the workers at the Eagan facility.
"We have a temporary prayer room at this location and are in the process of building a permanent one," he said.
In addition, Apreza told WCCO that workers at the Eagan location are well compensated, earning at least $15 per hour plus benefits.
From the writer's perspective: It's part of work
As someone who is both a follower of Jesus and someone who loaded trucks at UPS one year during what is known as "peak season," or from late October through December, I know how difficult it is to work at a package warehouse through the biggest Christian holiday season.
But the rigorous workload comes with the territory. It's part of the job, and no matter your religion, you know what you're signing up for when you accept a job at an Amazon warehouse or a UPS package facility.