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Amazon Training Video: "Unions Are Lying, Cheating Rats"

As Amazon works to combat its public image as a starvation-wage employer by doling out mere pennies in pay hikes and deploying an army of workers to sing the company's praises on Twitter, a video leaked on Wednesday revealed that the trillion-dollar company is continuing to work feverishly behind the scenes to crush any attempts by workers to unionize and bargain collectively for better wages and working conditions.

The 45-minute training video - which, according to Gizmodo, was sent to managers of the Amazon-owned Whole Foods last week - instructs company leaders on how to detect "early warning signs of potential organizing," which include workers "suddenly hanging out together" and using "union words" like "living wage."

In a tweet responding to the video on Wednesday, the AFL-CIO - America's largest federation of unions - wrote: "We like those 'union words' which gave us a middle class. Shame on ⁦Amazon⁩."

While warning managers not to openly threaten workers who they believe are engaged in organizing efforts, the video encourages company leaders to give their "opinions" on unionization.

"Opinions can be mild, like, 'I'd rather work with associates directly,' or strong: 'Unions are lying, cheating rats.' The law protects both!" the video says.

"We are not anti-union," the video's narrator goes on to say, "but we are not neutral either."

Amazon's aggressively anti-union video was sent to Whole Foods managers just weeks after employees of the grocery chain took initial steps toward unionizing in an effort to achieve a higher minimum wage and better benefits.

The training video emerged as Amazon and company CEO Jeff Bezos - the richest person in the world - have faced intense scrutiny from progressive lawmakers like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who last month introduced the Stop BEZOS Act," which would impose a "100 percent tax on large employers equal to the amount of federal benefits received by their low-wage workers."

"While Mr. Bezos is worth $155 billion and while his wealth has increased $260 million every single day this year, he continues to pay many Amazon employees wages that are so low that they are forced to depend on taxpayer-funded programs such as food stamps, Medicaid, and subsidized housing just to get by," Sanders said in a statement.

In what one Amazon employee described as "damage control," the company has reportedly begun handing out wage increases of 25 to 55 cents an hour to workers around the country following increased criticism from Sanders and other lawmakers.

"Jeff Bezos is a villain, plain and simple," Splinter's Hamilton Nolan wrote in response to Amazon's anti-union training video. "His insane fortune is the grotesque manifestation of workplace oppression."

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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Previously in Amazon:

* Amazon Is Thriving Thanks To Taxpayer Dollars.

* Amazon Finally Drops Deceptive Price List Comparisons.

* Who Has Your Back? Not Amazon.

* Chicago's Attempt To Impress Amazon Backfired After It Destroyed A 'Priceless' Graffiti Artwork In HQ2 Bid Clean-Up.

* Amazon, Boeing, Chicago And Cautionary Tales.

Let's face it, the math doesn't matter - Rahm just wants the win. Like Scott Walker and Foxconn (and Richard M. Daley and the 2016 Olympics). It's a helluva thing to campaign on. "I got Amazon!" It doesn't matter how disastrous that might be - it's all about one man's political interests.

* Item: Amazon HQ2-fer.

"Later this year, Amazon will begin accepting grocery orders from customers using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the federal anti-poverty program formerly known as food stamps. As the nation's largest e-commerce grocer, Amazon stands to profit more than any other retailer when the $70 billion program goes online after an initial eight-state pilot," the Intercept reports.

"But this new revenue will effectively function as a double subsidy for the company: In Arizona, new data suggests that one in three of the company's own employees depend on SNAP to put food on the table. In Pennsylvania and Ohio, the figure appears to be around one in 10. Overall, of five states that responded to a public records request for a list of their top employers of SNAP recipients, Amazon cracked the top 20 in four."
the problem with amazon's short list

This is a long, in-depth report that demands particular attention here as Chicago vies for Amazon's "second headquarters" through a combination of begging, pleading, and massive tax subsidies contained in a secret offer we may never see.

Also, let's ask the mayor about this.

* Amazon's Same-Day Delivery Serves Basically All Of Chicago . . . Except The South Side.

* Amazon Insists On Silence From Twenty HQ2 Finalists.

* Lucy Parsons Labs Sues Rahm Emanuel To Jar Loose The Chicago's Amazon HQ2 Bid.

* CyberMonday, Amazon & You.

* Amazon Short-List Proves Something "Deeply Wrong" With America's Race-To-The-Bottom Economy.

* Last Year, Amazon Paid No Federal Income Taxes. Now, It's Trying To Kill A Local Tax That Aims To Help the Homeless.

See also: About Chicago's Late Head Tax.

* Ralph Nader's Open Letter To Jeff Bezos.

* Jeff Bezos Just Became The Richest Person Ever. Amazon Workers Just Marked #PrimeDay With Strikes Against Low Pay And Brutal Conditions.

* Amazon & The Way Of The World.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on September 27, 2018


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