Amazon Bombarding Other Employees With Anti-Union Propaganda

After a successful crackdown on its employees, Amazon takes their anti-union show on the road by bombarding other employees with propaganda.

Amazon’s war on its employees is apparently far from over. After successfully destroying efforts by employees to unionize in Alabama, the company has apparently opted to expand their anti-union blitz at other facilities as well.

To be sure, the Alabama fight isn’t over after the union filed a lawsuit citing voter interference and an unfair vote for reasons to toss the results. Amazon said that it intends on defending what some call questionable behavior during the vote.

Now, we are learning that the company is stepping up their efforts to crush other smaller efforts for employees to finally get proper representation. Apparently, employees at an Amazon facility in Staten Island got inspired by the movement in Alabama and decided to get the process started to unionize. It involves obtaining union membership cards. It seems that alone was enough to draw Amazon’s anti-union war machine. From Vice:

On Monday, Amazon began displaying anti-union messaging on TV screens at one of its Staten Island warehouses, known as JFK8, which employs more than 5,000 workers.

“KNOW THE FACTS BEFORE YOU SIGN A UNION CARD,” one of the screens in the warehouse reads, according to a photo obtained by Motherboard. “If someone asks you to provide your personal information or sign a union card, do not release your personal information without knowing all the facts.”

Unions must collect signed union authorization cards from at least a third of workers who are eligible to vote in a union election to qualify for an election with the National Labor Relations Board.

In recent days, Amazon has also sent out notifications to warehouse workers on its internal portal, known as Amazon A to Z, with a list of reasons for not signing union authorization cards.

“Speak For Yourself: Union authorization cards are legally binding and authorize the union to act as your exclusive representative. This means you give up the right to speak for yourself,” the message reads.

“Don’t Sign Away Your Choices: Signing a union authorization card may also obligate you to pay the union a monthly fee,” it continued.

“We’ve only been out there for five days and they’re already posting this stuff,” Christian Smalls, one of the lead organizers of TCOEW, told Motherboard.

Smalls formerly worked at JFK8, the Amazon facility in Staten Island, and was fired in March 2020 after leading a walkout at the facility during the pandemic (and later smeared by an Amazon executive as “not articulate or smart,” according to an internal memo obtained by VICE News.)

Obviously, Amazons messaging here is misinformation. Generally, in a union environment, if you have an issue of some sort, you have the option to have a union representative to be present as a second set of ears. If you have an issue with the employer short-changing you on your paycheck, feel that you have been unfairly treated, or feel that you are being required to work in an unsafe environment, that is where union representation benefits you as an employee. This is because they can assess the situation and offer suggestions and help on the proper course of action. In the real world, having a union does not mean you lose your voice as an employee in any way shape or form.

What’s more, Amazon probably feels emboldened by its successful employee crackdown in Alabama that they can, to borrow a Trump phrase, “do anything” they want. There are seemingly no consequences for their actions. Even if the results in Alabama were overturned because it was an unfair election, it unclear if unionization is even possible. The United States is known for being anti-worker thanks to some states having so-called “right to work” laws. Those laws effectively cracks down on unions and prevents them from functioning normally.

Some observers view this fight over workers rights as a spinoff of the civil rights movement. Here, we have a large corporation trying to retain full dictatorial control over what employees can and cannot get. Employees, for their part, are trying to fight back and have a voice on what the expectations should be in the workplace.

These efforts by Amazon also have the side-effect of hurting their image. Before, customers simply click on products, then get those products a period of time later. They don’t see much in the way of what is happening behind the scenes. These efforts have really revealed a darker side of Amazon that might otherwise be swept under the rug and forgotten. It, understandably, raises the question for some people of whether or not the employees bringing you that pair of slippers are actually being treated fairly or not. The fact that Amazon is seemingly not caring about the hits their reputation is taking because of these stories can certainly be seen by some as troubling.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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