For at least the second time this year, employees at the Amazon fulfillment center in Shakopee have staged a walkout over working conditions.
The protest happened Thursday night, reportedly after the firing of a fellow worker.
According to WorkDay Minnesota, the company says the employee, identified as Farhiyo Warsame — who had previously "raised concerns" over lack of safety precautions at the facility — was fired because they had "violated their 'time off task' rules."
The website notes that workers at the Shakopee facility and others around the country "have voiced growing fears that Amazon is using its 'time off task' policies to target and retaliate against workers for raising safety concerns."
WorkDay Minnesota also claims the company issues "warnings" to workers for "time off task" even for activities such as washing their hands or sanitizing their workstations.
As Vice reports, more than 35 workers protested in the warehouse parking lot that night, chanting "Bring Farhiyo back," with the demand that the company reinstate her and "stop retaliating against us for fighting for our lives."
The firing and subsequent walkout comes less than six months after a similar incident at the same Shakopee facility, when protesters said Faiza Osman was terminated for staying at home with her two children during the COVID-19 outbreak.
That time, some 50 workers walked off the job in protest.
However, Amazon denied that firing, but organizers at the time said another worker was let go for allegedly "not following social distancing guidelines"; that same worker, Bashir Mohamed, later appeared on CNN and claimed he was fired as a warning for having organized for better working conditions and distributing leaflets.
The controversy came amid other complaints by Amazon workers across the country, with The Verge reporting that the company allegedly fired six workers who called for better safety precautions during the pandemic.
BringMeTheNews has reached out to Amazon for comment.
The walkout came the same day the company announced that nearly 20,000 employees had tested positive for COVID-19. In June, 187 of Amazon's Minnesota workers were revealed to have tested positive for the virus, with most occurring at the Shakopee facility.