Amazon cancels Prime Day in Canada due to COVID and people have thoughts
Amazon has announced the indefinite postponement of its popular "Prime Day" sale event, but only in India and Canada, where the COVID-19 pandemic remains enough of a problem to have closed down entire distribution centres (at least in the GTA.)
Prime Day, which is similar to Boxing Day or Black Friday in terms of one-day-only doorbuster deals on big-ticket items, traditionally takes place over two days in July, though last year it was pushed back to October as a result of the pandemic.
According to CNBC, the annual sales event launched in 2015 as a way for Amazon to "secure new Prime members, promote [its] own products and services, and provide a sales boost in the middle of the year."
The promotion appears to be going forward in July as usual for people in the U.S. and many other countries this year, but the company has confirmed that Prime Day (or, realistically Prime Days,) will not take be taking place in Canada or India.
This is due to the overwhelming number of COVID-19 cases in both countries, and the impacts of the pandemic upon the labour forces that Amazon depends on to organize and distribute product.
If you are sad that Prime Day has been cancelled in Canada you should be outraged like never before at Amazon which does not provide essential protections like a living wage or paid sick days even during #COVID19... all while Jeff Bezos makes $2,537 per second.— Amit Arya (@AmitAryaMD) May 7, 2021
Three Amazon fulfilment centres in Peel Region alone have been shut down over the past few weeks after more than five cases were confirmed among workers — two facilities in Brampton, Ontario, one in Caledon.
"As we continued to monitor the impact of COVID-19 in Canada, we have decided to pause plans for Prime Day 2021 in Canada," said Amazon in a statement published by the Canadian Press on Friday.
"We will … work with teams to determine the next best steps for Prime Day 2021."
Some Canadian consumers are angry about the fact that Prime Day will be delayed, but for every annoyed social media post, there's another one pointing out how much more disturbing it is that these outbreaks were allowed to happen in the first place.
Maybe the best Amazon Prime Day this year would be an Amazon Prime Week of paid sick days for their workers in plants here in Canada. No, but let's focus on online shopping rather than saving lives. https://t.co/ZSVUn971Jw— John Delacourt (@JohnDelacourt) May 7, 2021
"During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jeff Bezos's wealth increased by $11,500,000 per hour, but the wage increase for workers was only $0.99 per hour," tweeted Toronto-based ER physician Dr. Gaibrie Stephen in response to the hubub on Friday.
"This pandemic has been a giant corporate wealth transfer. I don’t care about Prime Day."
"Clarification: Amazon Prime Day won't happen in Canada this year because our system prioritizes making Jeff Bezos $152,000 per minute over providing paid sick leave and a livable wage to protect the lives of essential workers, even in a pandemic," wrote Naheed Dosani, also a physician in Toronto, similarly.
Ahmed Ali, Health Policy PhD Candidate, put it succinctly as thus:
"To those angry about Amazon pausing its Prime Day in Canada, you should be more angry about the fact that Amazon can afford to pay its workers a livable wage (but doesn't) and Jeff Bezos would STILL be a billionaire."
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