Security officers who protect Amazon headquarters in Seattle just won fair religious policies at work.
Muslim SIS officers say they have experienced unfair treatment, retaliation and disrespect, including disparaging public comments made by SIS supervisors during a Muslim holiday—“If you don’t get a break or lunch today, don’t blame us, blame the Muslims.”
Seattle faith leaders and community supporters rallied behind the officers and together they held a pray-in on Amazon’s front steps. Faith, Labor and community supporters also visited Amazon’s main offices to deliver a strongly worded letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos calling for immediate resolution.
And late last week they won!
SIS provided a list of conference rooms security officers can use to pray during work-breaks.
“For months, we felt disrespected and ignored when we asked for prayer space, but now SIS has finally listened. When they posted a list of available prayer rooms to use during work breaks it was a huge victory for us. This is proof that when we speak out, we can make a difference,” said SIS officer Abdinasir Elmi
While this victory is a move in the direction of justice, SIS officers are seeking to resolve a host of work-place issues through forming their union.
Elmi continued, “If we stick together and use our voices, we can work together for cost of living raises, no retaliation for those who speak up, and a fair path to form a union. When we fight together, we win.”
By holding their service contractors accountable, like SIS, Amazon has the power to set standards--making sure every contract employee that works at the tech campus is treated with respect, receives regular cost of living raises and has a mechanism to deal with issues on the job.
This month, Amazon is holding its annual shareholder meeting at Freemont Studios in Seattle.
SIS officers, community, labor and faith leaders will all be there holding a Peoples Shareholder Event calling on Amazon to be a leader and deliver a sustainable economy and future for all.
SIS officers will be there calling on Amazon to hold SIS accountable and create a fair path for the more than 800 SIS officers to form their union.
“It’s very important for workers to speak up when we see an injustice. We can fight for benefits, better pay, having somewhere to pray. I believe I experienced retaliation at work for my efforts to form a union. But imagine what would happen if we all spoke out?” —SIS Officer Betiel Desta