May Day Strike of amazon, Instacart, Target, etc. workers

Submitted by Lucky Black Cat on May 2, 2020

I'm trying to get a sense of the raw numbers and/or participation rates in the May Day Strike of amazon, Instacart, Target, etc. workers. It's hard to come by this info but I'm piecing together what I can find.

TL;DR: Although participation is currently too small to dent profits, there is potential for growth in size and power.

Any further information that anyone can add is appreciated.

By some measures, the protests — along with a recent series of walkouts or “sickouts” at Amazon’s warehouses and a general strike at Instacart — could be seen as underwhelming. Participation hasn’t been enough to shut down warehouses or, according to companies, slow down overall business. Both Amazon and Instacart have said they’ve seen record sales during the pandemic, and despite labor actions, there seem to be no signs that growth is slowing down.

“While there is tremendous media coverage of today’s protests, we see no measurable impact on operations,” wrote Rachael Lighty, an Amazon spokesperson....

It is unclear how many people joined in the protests. Organizers said thousands of workers had pledged to participate. But the companies said the protests involved few employees, and they did not represent the views of most workers. Target said it was aware of less than 10 employees who participated. Amazon, Instacart, Whole Foods and Shipt said their operations were not affected. (Whole Foods is owned by Amazon and Shipt is owned by Target.)

I think it's safe to say that FAR more than 10 Target workers participated. Target only being aware of less than 10 likely just shows that most participating workers have been successful at concealing their identity from the company, and that Target wants to downplay this action to discourage others.

Organizers say their bases number in the tens of thousands, but that represents a minuscule part of the overall workforce of these companies. And even reaching that level of participation may be difficult. One Instacart worker, who was asked by WIRED about Friday’s strike, said she’d never heard it was happening; another said she had seen shoppers talking about it on Reddit but had no intention of participating, “because Instacart won’t even blink.”"

"Target, in a statement emailed to WIRED, said that the concerns raised in the strikes came from “a very small minority. The vast majority of our more than 340,000 front-line team members have expressed pride in the role they are playing in helping provide for families across the country during this time of need.” Kristen Kish, a spokesperson for Amazon, condemned the “irresponsible actions of labor groups in spreading misinformation and making false claims about Amazon during this unprecedented health and economic crisis. The statements made are not supported by facts or representative of the majority of the 500,000 Amazon operations employees in the US who are showing up to work to support their communities.”

But regardless of scale, the protests were historic and, to a degree, effective. For the first time, organizers brought together a coalition of low-paid, non-unionized, often temporary employees from some of the largest companies in the US.