Protesters demanding higher wages set up guillotine outside Bezos’s house
Protesters calling for higher wages at Amazon set up a guillotine outside of CEO Jeff Bezos’s Washington, D.C., home on Thursday.
About 100 demonstrators gathered outside of the CEO’s home requesting at least $30 per hour pay for Amazon workers among other demands, the Washington Examiner reported. The demonstrations came one day after Bezos became the first man to be worth $200 billion in the world, according to Forbes.
The guillotine was used to behead French nobility during the French Revolution in the late 18th century.
Former Amazon employee Chris Smalls led the protest after he had been fired for walking out of the Staten Island shipping center to speak out against long hours, low pay and people infected with COVID-19 coming into work.
“Hey, Jeff Bezos. I’m going to let you know something today: We are just getting started,” he said during the demonstration, according to the Examiner. “We’re going to go to every single location you’ve got across the country and set up shop until you meet our demands as workers.”
Smalls, a co-founder of The Congress of Essential Workers (TCOEW), then led a chant of “If we don’t get it, we shut it down.”
Protesters build a guillotine outside of Jeff Bezos’s house. Yesterday the Amazon billionaire was reported to become the first man worth $200 billion. pic.twitter.com/tY1wb0F1uj
— Nic Rowan (@NicXTempore) August 27, 2020
TCOEW was created after various strikes took place on International Workers’ Day on May 1 to demonstrate against how companies including Amazon treated their workforce amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The group has protested outside of Bezos’s properties before, including outside his New York residence on Aug. 9 and his D.C. home in June, according to Fox 5 D.C. The June visit also featured a guillotine.
A press release for Thursday’s protest included 10 demands for Amazon, including to provide personal protective equipment and sanitation to employees, to give increased hazard pay, to provide retroactive 100 percent pay for unpaid time used and sick pay since March 1 and a $30 minimum wage for hourly workers.
The workers also request those who test positive for the virus to be fully paid but not return to work until they receive confirmed negative results and doctor approval.
Amazon did not immediately return a request for comment.