The on-line internet shopping giant, Amazon has been accused for years, of trying to prevent those of its warehouse workers across the United States, from unionizing. Amazon employees in various states and warehouses have sought protection in unionization to combat, what some call “modern day slavery”. This follows consistent reports that management has put its workforce in regularly grueling scenarios and under the pressure of forced shipping quotas, to name a few issues.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found that Amazon had violated labor laws preventing its warehouse workers from unionizing when they tried to do so in Alabama back in August of last year. This pattern of employees trying to unionize continued as did the apparent push back by corporate.
This February, Amazon was again reportedly trying to prevent unionization at an Alabama facility. Then just last month, Amazon’s workers representing approximately 8,000 employees, voted to unionize – the corporations first official union. The company responded by firing more than six of the Staten Island warehouse managers who fought to form the union and the corporation is still fighting the actual vote.
Now Amazon has also started what appears to be a corporate pre-emptive program (anti-union strategy) throughout other states and at warehouse facilities, stopping the progress of shipping lines throughout the day, to have all hands meetings that are anti-union drills by management. They have even painted the building supports with “Vote No” in both English and Spanish as pictured above, though obviously there are those employees who are committed to the safety of the union. Time will tell.
All this is to make the point that Amazon is actively working hard to keep unions out of their business – a policy that Joe Biden has pledged to American union workers not to reward. Again, he says one thing and then does another.
According to a Lever report, despite Amazon’s history of interfering in unionization efforts, the Biden administration, has rewarded the corporation with a massive a $10 billion federal contract, after vowing not to do so. This flies in the face of his own campaign promises.
In his campaign Biden had laid out a plan to prevent corporations like Amazon from receiving lucrative federal contracts after being accused of union-busting policies.
Biden promised to
“ensure federal dollars do not flow to employers who engage in union-busting activities, participate in wage theft, or violate labor law.”
However, it was much more convenient to award Amazon this National Security Administration (NSA) contract for the company’s website service division, code-named “Wild and Stormy”. Apparently, there’s also another massive Pentagon cloud contract, that Amazon is also currently bidding on. It should also be noted that Amazon hired the brother of Joe Biden’s top Aide as a lobbyist just days after the 2020 presidential election. Another example of “you scratch my back I’ll scratch your back”. Wonder what’s really in this for the Biden’s?
All this, flies in the face of his own party’s policies. After last month’s union vote, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) joined the Amazon Labor Union for a rally on Staten Island to show their support for the tech giant’s first union.
On April 22, on his official web page, Sanders is quoted as saying:
“Mr. President: It is abundantly clear that time and time again Amazon has engaged in illegal anti-union activity,”…and “Amazon may be a large and profitable corporation, it may be owned by one of the wealthiest people in America, but it cannot be allowed to continue to violate the law and the rights of its employees. The time has come to tell Amazon that if it wants another federal contract it must obey the law.”-Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
Obviously, there is plenty of behind the scenes back scratching going on – wonder if Hunter is involved or some other family member?
While Amazon’s tactics are a real issue – so is the fact that Biden and his White House are not just looking the other way, but are feeding US taxpayers money into the mix, making matters worse for the common man working at Amazon. The question really becomes - what is Biden’s motivation this time? And / or how much will Bezos pour into the DNC for this rather glaring favor?
America should not be surprised by Joes appetite to sell himself one way and then live another way, however, using US tax dollars (through federal contracts) to support Amazon, that itself pays disproportionately low corporate taxes, uses its workforce so ruefully and is trying to deny employees the right to form representation - is wrong. November cannot come soon enough.
For America to turn itself around this fall, every US citizen needs to show up in force to vote to bring common sense back to Washington, with the hope of holding businesses such as Amazon accountable for the treatment of their vast workforce. Trust and respect are currently sorely lacking in Washington.
“Employees aren't inanimate objects that can just be moved around like bricks. They're people with emotions and goals and commitments and more. They should be treated like stakeholders, because they are.”― Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr