back to article Amazon CEO accused of trampling labor laws with anti-union comments

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has been accused of breaking US labor laws by spouting anti-union comments in the media. The online shopping giant faces mounting efforts by warehouse workers to organize and collectively bargain with bosses. The Amazon Labor Union (ALU) won its first election against the corporation in April, making the …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "...I also think people are better off having direct connections with instance b6:ec:07:f5:4c:df "

  2. Potemkine! Silver badge

    If workers think it's better for them to unionize, it demonstrates the model vaunted by the CEO doesn't work.

    Instead of trying to break the union, the CEO should question himself and think how he could make the model better.

    This would require a bit of humility and empathy, characteristics that CEO generally haven't.

    Psychopaths are usually most common at higher levels of corporate organizations, and their actions often cause a ripple effect throughout an organization, setting the tone for an entire corporate culture.

    == Bring us Dabbsy back! ==

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Psychopaths? Sociopaths, Shirley?

      Disclaimer. I wasn't one of the downvoters :-)

      1. Lordrobot

        Disclaimer. I was one of the downvoters

        NEW YORK and New Jersey are not right-to-work states. This basically amounts to the individual's labours getting trounced by UNIONS. I would be much more aggressive if I were Amazon. I would NEVER place a warehouse in a state that did not support the right to work. I would announce it and move from Statin Island. There is no law that can stop a business from leaving a pro UNION state.

        Unions have destroyed every US industrial sector from Steelmaking, to Autos, to chemicals, textiles, and transports. Gov Unions are now in school destroying the Murican educational system, with math scores dropping like every year. Unions are not about merit but about seniority.

        Unions are a curse. Endless corruption and links with organized crime. You have 100 ships still backed up off Long Beach and Port of LA. You have a gov union, the Longshoremen controlling every port in the USA. Always opposing automation. The fully automated non-union single port of Shanghai handles 500% more cargo than all US ports combined. Unions are inefficient. These port Unions have made it so independent Truckers cannot pickup freight at the ports but UNION intermodal must transport all goods to outside staging areas. Ships back up 100 deep.

        Toyota, honda Nissan built in the USA are non-union and more successful than GM. Ford moved all manufacturing of cars and trucks to Mexico and China. Perfectly legal to get sick of Unions and leave them jobless.

        The next recession will be telling. JOE Biden has made many statements about UNIONIZING America. He thinks he is FDR but forgets that FDR was vehemently opposed to Gov Unions in any form, such as Longshoremen, Postal Workers unions, and teachers unions. The argument is simple enough. Where is the greedy business owner... are they the taxpayers? Unions have a foothold. They have proven they are a huge negative in Schools, the postal service, ports, and transports in particular and should be dismantled. Take down the UNIONS and you take down about 30% of Orangized crime.

  3. DS999 Silver badge

    I think companies hurt themselves by fighting unionization

    When workers see companies fighting so hard against unions with such statements and various dirty tricks, I would think it makes them more likely to vote for unionization even if they would otherwise be more ambivalent about it.

    Plus it isn't a good look to customers of those companies who don't have a personal stake in that unionization. It is funny seeing people like the Starbucks CEO who has professed to be a lifelong democrat suddenly acting more conservative when he sees Starbucks employees trying to unionize. I guess he's pro union only when it is someone else's employees, not his own! That's the worst form of hypocrisy. If I drank coffee I'd avoid Starbucks just based on that alone.

  4. Winkypop Silver badge

    The dangers of socialising

    Careful, you could end up with:

    - affordable health care

    - improved employment entitlements

    - living wages

    Steady on now!

  5. Cederic Silver badge

    I'm confused

    The position of the NLRB is that it's illegal to disagree on the benefits of a union at a specific company?

    Maybe there are comments that weren't cited in the article but it feels weird that someone wouldn't be able to tell people they work with, "I think you're better off with a different approach."

    1. Stork Silver badge

      Re: I'm confused

      I think it comes down to how it is perceived, could come across similar to “nice shop you got there, it would be a shame if it burned “

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm confused

      Correct, you may not disagree with a Marxist. The union leaders are obviously short a bob or three and need some more dues.

      More seriously unions on paper are a good idea but as with everything power seems to corrupt very quickly. My MIL worked at a company with a union and when voting time came along the union reps would 'encourage' them to vote for the correct candidate. This included turning up at the house to 'encourage' her.

  6. big_D Silver badge

    The one doesn't preclude the other...

    they can go meet in a room, decide how and change it. That type of empowerment doesn't happen when you have unions," Jassy suggested.

    "It's much more bureaucratic, it's much slower. I also think people are better off having direct connections with their managers.

    There is nothing stopping that happening, if there is a union, workflows can be optimized and you can talk to your manager, even if you are in a union, just it is harder for the company to shaft you, if you have someone backing you up.

    I've worked at companies with and without unions, and to be honest, for the day-to-day work and interaction with management, it made absolutely no difference. It only made a difference when they tried to fire people without cause or to bully them, then they went to the union rep and got support...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The one doesn't preclude the other...

      Equally the reason the US has so many really awful police officers is due to the unions making it very hard to fire them. Protectionism is a double edged sword.

      1. Ace2 Silver badge

        Re: The one doesn't preclude the other...

        Ok, so you get rid of the all the cop unions, and once it’s clear how much better things are we’ll consider getting rid of the rest.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The one doesn't preclude the other...

          Surely that would be the utopia as you can implement the ACAB defund the police policies touted over the last few years.

          (Unless you are rich or a member of the US govt in which case you get armed personal security because its totally not one rule for me and one rule for you)

          But you missed the point. That was an example of how unions can be a bad thing. Not a statement that all unions are bad and we must get rid of all of them. It was also not a statement saying we must get rid of police unions. Current year lack of nuance where everything must be either all one way or all the other, no middle ground.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. Lordrobot

          Re: The one doesn't preclude the other...

          ALL? Perhaps you had a Union Teacher that failed to teach you to read.

  7. Joe Drunk

    The main reason people want to unionize is because they don't like the way they're being treated.

    Maybe if corporations would stop lying to potential hires with phrases like "great place to work" "opportunities for advancement" "exceptional leadership that recognizes and rewards outstanding efforts" etc.

    If they would be more honest with phrases like "you will be exploited to the fullest extent" "you will never be viewed as anything more to the company than a disposable drone" "random firings are a regular occurrence" "ask for nothing from your immediate manager because nothing is what you'll receive" etc. then employees would have nothing to complain about since expectations were made clear during the hiring process. I imagine there would be a lot less potential hires.

  8. willfe

    Boy I can't wait for impotent, uninterested regulators to wake up and decide to carefully "monitor the situation" while doing nothing. Again.

    Though this does reveal some serious amateur-level thinking and abysmal inexperience with unions by these C-level goons. Publicly bad-mouthing unions in general (or the union your own company's employees have formed) is never the right way to stop them and only makes you look like idiots (like these folks in charge at Amazon). The tried-and-true way of dealing with unions has always been embracing them fully then corrupting them completely, rendering them toothless, difficult-to-impossible to remove, and making your employees hate them far more than they hate you. Companies have done this for nearly a century, and it's awesome seeing these modern arrogant buffoons refusing to learn from history's lessons on this and lining themselves up for relentless hounding over the next few years before they reinvent the wheel.

    Then again there's always the Walmart approach -- if a store votes to unionize, close the store and fire everyone employed there. Sure, they might get sued for doing it, but the union itself is dead in the water, the employees who voted for it are punished, the area/city where the store was setting up shop loses jobs and revenue, and so on. Walmart's got enough cash reserves to fight lawsuits until the end of time (or at least the end of the US dollar), and the Walton family is notorious for preferring courtrooms over union halls. And besides, it's not like a victory could actually force the company to re-open a store it shut down to avoid unionization. You may score a payout eventually, and maybe even a fine against Walmart, but the company will go on and you'll still be out of a job and without a local Walmart (though many people consider that last bit a victory of its own).

    I gotta say I really do wish regulators would actually pay attention and do their jobs to help put an end to this kind of stupidity. But of course, the corporate world has pretty much sealed up their regulatory capture process and those regulators don't work for us anymore.

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