GUEST: Valerie Vande Panne, writing fellow and chief correspondent at Local Peace Economy, a project of the Independent Media Institute.
She is an independent journalist whose work has appeared in the Boston Globe, Sunday Magazine, Columbia Journalism Review, The Guardian, Politico, and many other publications. Her latest piece is entitled, "It’s Prime Time to Boycott Amazon."
BACKGROUND: The massive online retail giant Amazon has announced July 15th & 16th as Amazon Prime Day, a "2-day parade of epic deals." Founder Jeff Bezos wants consumers around the world to revel in the deep discounts his company is offering on all sorts of products.
But on Sunday Amazon workers at a number of facilities in Germany began a strike called, "No more discount on our incomes." Here in the US there are sporadic protests and one-day strikes as well.
One worker in Shakopee, Minnesota, where about a 100 Amazon staffers are striking told CNN, "We're humans, not robots...They're treating us like machines."
There are growing calls among consumers and advocacy organizations as well for Amazon to slow its breathtaking pace of expansion and begin compensating its workers fairly.
Some have even called for a boycott, calling on Amazon Prime members to cancel their membership and stop shopping at Whole Foods, which Amazon owns.
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