Amazon’s annual ‘Prime Day’ event saw a shaky start yesterday after worker strikes and a lengthy website crash resulted in a worldwide backlash.
The sale, which began at 3pm on Monday 16 July and offers thousands of discounted items, immediately crashed the ecommerce giant’s website, which was down for 45 minutes while Amazon attempted to fix the issue.
Neil Saunders, managing director of research firm GlobalData Retail, said there is “no doubt” that this will “erode sales and deter” some customers from buying. He added: “The outage is especially problematic as many of Amazon’s Prime deals are promoted for a set window of time – something that could cause a great deal of frustration for potential customers.”
Many shoppers on social media have also announced that they are boycotting the sale over the treatment of Amazon warehouse staff, using the hashtag #BoycottAmazon.
Around 1,800 spanish warehouse workers went on strike on Monday in a call for improved working conditions, pay and health benefits, and have been joined by German staff members today. Stefanie Nutzberger, a spokesperson for German trade union Verdi, said: “The message is clear, while the online giant gets rich, it is saving money on the health of its workers.”
Amazon said in a statement: “Amazon is a fair and responsible employer and as such we are committed to dialogue, which is an inseparable part of our culture.”
Just cancelled my prime membership. Probably won’t renew it until Amazon can actually treat their employees properly #boycottamazon
— Store Brand Kombucha (@portmanteu) July 11, 2018
Don’t buy anything on Prime day. Support the Amazon employees speaking out against the company’s abuse! #BoycottAmazon
— Peyton [Ready For SDCC] Presgrove (@ASliceofComics) July 13, 2018
Looking forward to boycotting Amazon tomorrow!
My desire for cheap knockoff iPhone cords isn’t more important than workers’ livelihoods and living wage. #BoycottAmazon
— Heron Greenesmith, Esq. (@herong) July 15, 2018