Amazon employees are walking off the job in protest and are lobbying for union representation at three of the ecommerce giant’s locations. Currently, TikTokers have joined the labor struggle.
Dozens of content artists on the video platform are urging other influencers to boycott the e-commerce giant as a means of advocating for greater wages and better working conditions for warehouse employees. As part of their campaign, they are encouraging TikTok sellers to sever their ties with Amazon’s influencer marketing program.
“You have an audience and customers who click on your Amazon stores, from which you earn a fee. Is it worthwhile at the cost of the working class?” Wednesday, TikToker Gaya remarked in a video.
The “People over Prime” campaign debuted on Tuesday with approximately 70 participants and 51 million TikTok followers, according to Gen-Z for Change, the non-profit organization leading the effort.
Creators are asking a minimum pay of $30 per hour at Amazon’s warehouses, the elimination of productivity goals, and an end to Amazon’s anti-union actions. According to a complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board, the corporation has vigorously opposed workers’ efforts to unionize, including pressuring employees to attend anti-union meetings and threatening to reduce pay and benefits for those who vote for the union.
Dylan Troesken, a 19-year-old TikToker, stated, “There are so many individuals, especially young people, on the internet who have no idea what influence shopping on Amazon has on employees and the environment.” It terrifies me how large and powerful a single organization can be.
Amazon warehouse employees and workers’ rights organizations have long complained about the company’s high injury rates, 24/7 surveillance, and relentless anti-union tactics.
The company has stated that its starting hourly wage of $17 is the highest in the industry and that its injury rates are not as bad as they appear. Paul Flaningan, a representative for Amazon, issued the following comment in response to a question concerning the TikTok promotion.
“We have invested billions of dollars in new employee-protecting operations safety measures, technology, and other innovative solutions. Our global workplace health and safety team has grown to more than 8,000 workers who use Amazon’s creativity, technology, and data to protect the safety of our employees. We are committed to providing our staff with the tools they need for success, allowing for regular breaks and a comfortable pace of work, and working directly with anyone who requires further assistance to achieve their objectives.”
Amazon also stated that it conducts “thousands” of daily safety checks in its facilities, making adjustments based on employee feedback and consulting with health and safety experts.
Taking aim at marketing money
The novel campaign of the TikTokers targets Amazon’s influencer marketing program, which the online retailer is attempting to extend.
Through the service, influential social media accounts can earn rewards ranging from 1% to 20% for recommending Amazon purchases. In May, Amazon gathered over a dozen influencers at a weekend retreat in Mexico, where the celebrities were wined and fed and instructed on how to set up a storefront on the site. According to Insider Intelligence, Amazon hired more than 5,000 influencers to promote products ahead of its Prime Day deals.
According to a survey by Influencer Marketing Hub, companies are anticipated to sell $960 billion worth of products via social media.
While Instagram creators get the most advertising revenue, TikTok has the youngest audience. According to Cloudflare, the website is the second-most popular site in the world.
Elise Joshi, director of strategy at Gen-Z for Change, told CBS MoneyWatch that Amazon is attempting to acquire TikTok because it is a portal to young people and a gateway for labor.
Staten Island’s Amazon distribution hub became the first Amazon facility in the United States to unionize, which encouraged Joshi, 20, to initiate the campaign. Chris Smalls, head of the Amazon Labor Union, told the Washington Post that he supports the TikTok effort, despite the fact that the two groups did not collaborate on the campaign.
Smalls told the Post, “It’s a good fight to embark on because Amazon is obviously terrified of how we used TikTok during our campaigns.”
The Amazon campaign was in the works for several months, according to Joshi, who also assisted with Kroger and Starbucks initiatives. (When these corporations were accused of retaliating against unionized workers, activists from Gen-Z for Change flooded their job portals with tens of thousands of phony applications)
Amazon’s online retail dominance and expansion into media and other services make it difficult to avoid the firm in daily life. “Amazon appears impregnable. People cannot be asked not to shop there “Joshi stated.
She expects that a public effort will be more effective than a consumer boycott, which would be impractical, in bringing attention to the company’s labor practices.
She said, “I want it known that TikTok creators do not tolerate Amazon on the platform.” It should be a reputational risk for TikTok creators to associate with anti-labor businesses.