Published in El Pais, July 16th 2019.
As a Canadian living in Argentina I frequently get asked what I miss most about my country. Many are expecting me to say something like the food or my friends or family but the thing I probably miss the most is Amazon. I cannot express this enough, I hate shopping and Amazon lets me go through that experience as quick as possible and at a time that works best for me. The delivery times are so quick now, 1 or 2 days, that I do not even have to worry about delayed gratification.
I am writing about this because Monday July 15th is Amazon Prime day, a day filled with deep discounts on its online stores and is getting bigger every year. Although I will not be able to participate this year even I am curious as to what discounts are available, but many might not be the sharing the same enthusiasm as me on this unofficial holiday. With all the bad publicity Amazon has been getting many are using social media to express their concerns with how Amazon is handling its workforce and are calling for a boycott. One warehouse in Minnesota is even planning to strike during the day to highlight what they claim are unsafe working conditions and let’s not forget the PR nightmare Amazon is facing with its cancelled New York City headquarters.
This is an interesting dilemma for some, but one must wonder if a boycott would help their cause. The fact is many organizers of the strike themselves are not calling for shoppers to stay off the popular website for a day and are only hoping that their protest can steal some of the spotlight. One should never ignore the burden of the workers plight and if their allegations of an unsafe work environment is true that I wish them all the best in achieving their goal in fixing that but for the moment I do not believe a full boycott is necessary for Amazon or any other businesses that might be facing similar allegations. For now, I feel that what we should do is listen to the workers and give them some of the attention they are asking for and then you make the decision on whether or not you support them and what you feel is your best course of action to help them.
I know these situations can be tricky and sometimes there is no right or wrong answer on what to do but if we stay informed I know we will all do what we feel is the right decision.