Digital Culture
Amazon

#PeopleOverPrime: Gen-Z TikTokkers are organizing against Amazon

They're protesting in solidarity with the Amazon Labor Union.
By Meera Navlakha  on 
A person holding a sign about Amazon's union-busting efforts at a protest against in the company.
A protest against Amazon in 2021. Credit: Erik McGregor / LightRocket Via Getty Images.

Prominent Gen-Z TikTok creators and influencers are organizing against Amazon in solidarity with the Amazon Labor Union, refusing Amazon sponsorships and the monetization of their individual platforms for Amazon.

The campaign, entitled "People Over Prime" and coordinated by advocacy group Gen Z for Change, consists of 70 creators who have a collective following of 51 million users. The hashtag #PeopleOverPrime has gained traction not only on TikTok, but across Twitter too.

In a public letter addressed to Amazon.com, the coalition writes that they are "calling on Amazon to listen to their workers and make tangible changes to their workplace environment."

These proposed changes, set by the ALU from the JFK8 and LDJ5 warehouses in Staten Island, include $30/hour minimum wage and better conditions for Amazon workers — such as better medical leave, additional paid time off, an hour-long paid lunch break, and ditching "productivity rates that require workers to pick a certain number of items an hour."

Gen Z for Change also demanded the halting of all anti-union tactics used by Amazon in the past, including threats of reduced pay and hosting compulsory anti-union meetings.

The group finished the letter highlighting the magnitude of TikTok as a platform, and in turn, the influence creators have: "TikTok has 1 billion monthly active users. Unless changes are made, we will prevent Amazon from monetizing one of the largest social media platforms in the world."

Mashable has reached out to Gen Z for Change for further comment.

The Washington Post first reported the story, pointing towards the rising trend of TikTok as a tool for pro-union advocacy. Earlier this year, Gen-Z for Change flooded Starbucks with fake job applications, after the company actively opposed unionization effortsefforts that are ongoing today.

The People Over Prime pledge was not organized by the ALU, but the union's president, Chris Smalls, told WaPo that there is a natural alignment between the two communities. "It’s a good fight to take on because Amazon definitely is afraid of how we used TikTok during our campaigns," he told the news outlet.

ALU chairman Derrick Palmer also tweeted about the campaign, quote tweeting Elise Joshi, the deputy executive director of Gen-Z for Change. "Thank you for your support. Myself and @amazonlabor appreciate it #Solidarity ✊🏽," he wrote.

Earlier this year, the ALU celebrated a victory when Amazon workers at a Staten Island warehouse voted to unionize.

Amazon has been attempting to forge stronger relationships with creators of late, pushing influencer coverage as a dominant marketing strategy. The company launched the Amazon Influencer Program in 2017, allowing creators to monetize heir platforms by recommending Amazon products. More recently, they flew a select group of creators to a luxury retreat in Mexico, including TikTok stars.

The People Over Prime campaign could prove a roadblock in Amazon's mission to recruit scores of digital celebrities to promote the company online. TikTok is proving to be a replacement search engine and rising source of news for younger users, cementing its influence for the demographic. The pressure, for Amazon, is on.

More in Amazon, TikTok


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