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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Did Amazon's Elite Security Squad "Interfere with, Restrain," and "Coerce" Union Representatives?

Posted by on Thu, Jun 12, 2014 at 11:17 AM

According to Josh Eidelson at Salon, the Service Employees International Union says Amazon's security contractors, Security Industry Specialists, have been "intimidating" union representatives, "flouting both federal law and the e-commerce giant’s Code of Conduct."

In charges filed May 5 with the National Labor Relations Board, SEIU accuses SIS – a California-based company whose employees the union has long sought to represent – of illegally “attempting surveillance activity to interfere with, restrain, coerce employees” out of exercising their New Deal rights. SEIU alleges that members of SIS’ “Executive Protection” squad – the more elite division responsible for protecting Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos — were recently deployed to follow SEIU staff and SIS security workers around Amazon’s Seattle campus as they tried to distribute a new SEIU leaflet to SIS and Amazon employees. More dramatically, SEIU and Young – the only current SIS employee featured on the leaflet – allege that one of the Executive Protection members confronted Young on May 1 to demand information about the leafleting.

Go read the whole article. Absolutely nobody should be surprised at this point to learn that Amazon is anti-union; the company has been battling with unions in Germany over working conditions and pay for years. And earlier this year, Time reported that Amazon "crushed" a union movement in Delaware. They're even testing their own delivery service, presumably in part because the other delivery services are union shops. Amazon has made no secret of the fact that they loathe unions. And why wouldn't they? The folks in South Lake Union are making plenty of money; they just don't want the peons out in the warehouses—or the schmucks charged with protecting Jeff Bezos—to have any.


Comments (7) RSS

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Yes, @1, leafleting is a terror weapon.
Posted by ANOPRAX on June 12, 2014 at 11:42 AM · Report this
Yes, Paul, we know, you hate Amazon.
Posted by BeelzeBallard on June 12, 2014 at 12:01 PM · Report this
And as a "journalist", I'm surprised you've never heard of Betteridge's Law of Headlines.'…
Posted by BeelzeBallard on June 12, 2014 at 12:03 PM · Report this
Renton Mike 6
That explains what happened this past Sunday.

Amazon was saying that something my wife had ordered would be delivered on Monday. On Sunday, I got a notification that it was "Out for delivery." I was a little surprised, so I pulled up the tracking details. They confirmed that it was being delivered that day by "OnTrac".

When the doorbell rang, I ran to the door and opened it to see a young guy running down my driveway to jump into an old white Toyota, probably a Tercel, and drive off. That was even more weird than the Sunday delivery.
Posted by Renton Mike on June 12, 2014 at 12:04 PM · Report this
Post_Mortem 7
I doubt Amazon is overly concerned about the union status of USPS or UPS workers. If they move into delivery, it will be for the same reasons as all their other expansions--partly concerns about cost, partly the idea of being and doing everything, partly the capitalist drive for continuous growth.

Moving into new territory or offering new services (new for Amazon, that is) is the sort of thing Amazon does, regardless of whether or not those it competes with are unionized.
Posted by Post_Mortem on June 12, 2014 at 12:28 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 8
The big delivery companies are shit to work with, especially for recipients. As a recipient, if you get fucked over in regards to your shipped item, the shipping company could not give less of a fuck. The shipper is the shipping company's customer, not you. While Amazon never misses an opportunity to cut out the middleman to reduce its costs, I'm sure Amazon is trying to find an alternative to UPS because UPS is such a dick to Amazon's customers.

One thing Amazon consistently gets right is caring about customer experience, and that's pretty much the only time you're going to see me complimenting Amazon. Most companies in the U.S. are more than happy to take your money and not deliver what they promised. Amazon is a notable exception.
Posted by keshmeshi on June 12, 2014 at 12:29 PM · Report this
It's really incredible the lengths people will go to demonstrate their willful ignorance of rich people fucking over working class people like themselves, isn't it?

The propaganda that the need for unionization of employees is somehow representative of inefficiency and corruption is so prevalent that beyond the contrarian internet trolls above hating on a journalist, that people now vote in actual policymakers in this country to help businesses screw them over even more.

And why? Someday if they work hard enough, they too can be powerful and rich enough to screw others out of a decent wage and basic work benefits.
Posted by Jonathan from Ballard on June 13, 2014 at 5:26 AM · Report this

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