A billboard truck with a message for Amazon pulled a Maverick move straight out of “Top Gun” on Wednesday in Seattle. Sort of. OK, not really.
The truck did buzz past the tech giant’s corporate office towers Doppler and Day 1. But it’s doubtful anybody inside spilled their coffee on themselves.
A GeekWire tipster who works across the street from the Spheres sent us a couple photos showing the truck at different times during the day. The rotating messages on the rolling billboard read: “No Amazon Prime Air Without Pilots,” “Don’t Ground Prime Air” and “Prime(d) for Disaster.” People are also directed to a web address: CanAmazonDeliver.com.
The effort is part of an ongoing call from Teamsters Local 1224 pilots, who are protesting working conditions for those who fly Amazon’s Prime Air delivery jets for contracted companies. Those companies, which have been delivering packages for Amazon for some time, are Atlas Air Worldwide and Air Transport Services Group.
The protesters previously showed up at Amazon’s annual shareholder meeting where they voiced concerns about short-staffing and more. Their complaint is not with Amazon, but they want the company to pressure their employers to hire more pilots and improve conditions.
“We want Prime Air to succeed, and that’s why it’s our responsibility to expose the ticking time bomb behind the marketing hype and let customers and investors know what’s really going on” said Capt. Michael Griffith, a long time pilot for Prime Air, in a news release. “Our airlines are hemorrhaging pilots at a record rate, and with customers counting on us to deliver, Amazon can’t afford to ignore the substandard pay and conditions that continue to undermine our operations. The busiest time of the year is fast approaching, and Amazon should urge our airlines to work with pilots to address the staffing crisis and get Prime Air on track.”
Amazon previously responded during the shareholders meeting.
“Questions about the working environment of our partners is best addressed by them,” Amazon said. “All of our delivery providers must abide by our Supplier Code of Conduct and we take seriously any allegation that a delivery provider is not meeting those requirements and expectations. That said, we are pleased with our partners’ performance and their continued ability to scale for our customers.”
It’s not the first billboard truck to get in the traffic mix around Amazon with the hopes of spreading a message.
The online group Sleeping Giants has been protesting companies whose automated ad buys land on such websites as Breitbart News. In June, they rolled out a truck to encourage Amazon to pull its adds from the right-wing site and “stop funding bigotry.”
More than 2,000 companies have dropped their ads, but Sleeping Giants can’t get Amazon to respond.