Apr 1, 2021

Amazon v the union: The vote the online giant fears

Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama, have voted in a historic poll to decide whether they want to be represented by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. Most agree conditions in its warehouses can be hard - the job is very demanding and lots of workers complain of back pain or other physical niggles as a result of working long hours, often standing in the same position. "Paying workers $15 an hour doesn't make you a 'progressive workplace' when you union-bust and make workers urinate in water bottles," he wrote. The claim can be traced back to James Bloodworth, who worked undercover at a UK warehouse while researching his book on low-paid British workers. In Germany a recent four-day strike was called over pay and conditions, while in Italy Amazon workers held a 24-hour strike over what they described as exhausting work rates and "Management by algorithm".

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