Amazon warehouse workers have been seeking change for a long time, and the new crown epidemic has further stimulated this willingness to talk about the working environment through more open channels. Since March, Amazon employees have staged frequent protests for a safer working environment, created online petitions in the hope of attracting attention and forming new workers’ groups. The rise and fall of these activism raises the question of whether the Union will take this opportunity to organize Amazon employees. Between March and September this year, Amazon and its whole foods supermarket employed more than 1.37 million front-line employees in the United States. Amazon’s “last mile” contract does not include the delivery of thousands of drivers. < p > < p > it’s a tough fight to form a union in Amazon. Since its establishment in 1994, the company has successfully blocked large unions. Although the union organized some European employees of Amazon, it did not let the employees of American warehouse successfully set up or join the union. < / P > < p > “Amazon has been actively persuading employees not to form unions.” Marcus Courtney, a longtime labor advocate, said he tried to unionize Amazon’s call center employees in the early 2000s. “It was 20 years ago, and it’s still the case today.” < p > < p > Tom Kochan, a professor of labor relations, work and employment at MIT, said unions could undermine Amazon’s control over warehouses and delivery people, for example, making it difficult to unilaterally set the pace of work and hourly wages. “Amazon controls everything from the bathroom to communication between employees,” says cochan. If trade unions join in, they will lose some control, which is their biggest worry. ” < / P > < p > a series of recent events show that Amazon has taken many measures to prevent employees from forming unions and is tracking signs of insecurity in the workplace. < / P > < p > it was previously reported that Amazon’s job posting for intelligence analysts showed that the position could monitor “labor organization threats” and other sensitive topics, and report their findings to “internal stakeholders, including the top leadership.”. Amazon did not accurately delete the content of the recruitment notice. Amazon and Amazon’s software will be looking for better data analysis earlier, i.e., the purchase of SPP > software will help. As a result, Amazon is being watched more closely. In September, it was reported that Amazon’s human resources department seemed to be monitoring employees’ email lists, a hot channel for employees to actively carry out various activities. There are also reports that Amazon employees are monitoring closed Facebook groups used by flex drivers who work as contract workers to track possible strikes and organized activities. < p > < p > Amazon denies that these programs are designed to monitor and curb union activities. Despite Amazon’s insistence, some warehouse workers said it could pose a threat to union activities because of Amazon’s ability to monitor and retaliate. < p > < p > politicians, trade unions and workers’ rights groups have also questioned Amazon’s views on employee organization. Last week, US senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders wrote to Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, to ask for more information about what Amazon had done when it learned that employees were actively organizing campaigns. < / P > < p > “in fact, Amazon has decided to invest heavily in systems, retaliate against free speech that exposes unsafe and unhealthy working conditions, and views employee organizational activities as a threat to the company, even as a threat to hate groups and threats. This is not acceptable. ” “The ILO movement is protected by law,” the senator wrote < / P > < p > when asked about its position on the labor union, Amazon has previously said that the company’s warehouse innovation speed is extremely fast, and direct communication between managers and employees can also be carried out, but both factors may be affected by the trade union. Amazon spokesman Lisa levandowski said in a statement that workers can decide whether to join a union or not, and the company respects that right. < / P > < p > she added: “Amazon as a whole, including the operations department, attaches great importance to daily dialogue with every employee and strives to ensure that direct interaction with employees becomes an important part of the company’s culture.” < / P > < p > “I’ve been here for nearly four years and joining a union is not what I want.” “I enjoy the atmosphere here and appreciate what they do for customers and employees,” said abdirizakak Abdi, a process assistant at Amazon’s shakopi warehouse in Minnesota < / P > < p > Allison Clauson, who is also a process assistant for the shakopi warehouse, agrees with Abdi’s statement. Amazon encourages workers to express their concerns to managers, especially through the workplace’s “voice of colleagues” whiteboard, he said. When asked about the use of the SPOC tool, levandowski said Amazon was seeking funding for software to support geospatial mapping, which would allow the company to view events outside buildings, such as large gatherings, natural disasters and power outages, and assess the potential impact on employees in a timely manner. < / P > < p > levandowski did not disclose whether Amazon was monitoring email for possible union activities, or whether it would track such activities through the SPOC tool. She said the company uses open email forums and other methods to collect employee feedback on a large scale. Lewandowski said the company had stopped the activity after learning that a business unit was gathering information through a closed Facebook group. < p > < p > Amazon is not an example. Many large enterprises have developed perfect strategies to monitor employees’ dissatisfaction. Wal Mart, the world’s largest private employer, is also accused of monitoring employees’ comments on reddit. Google employees have also accused the company of developing a tool to mark possible organized activities. Iain gold, head of Teamsters, one of several major unions that connect with Amazon’s warehouse and delivery departments, said: “Wal Mart’s approach to labor issues has really caused a lot of repercussions, but I think Amazon has replaced it. Amazon not only monitors workers, but also tries to gain insight into employee behavior trends or preferences. ” < p > < p > the national labor relations act of the United States is a law to protect employees’ organizational rights, which can prevent private companies from implementing unfair labor practices. However, according to the provisions of the law, the above-mentioned forms of surveillance are acceptable. For example, companies can monitor email communications in the workplace. Some companies collect data before things happen and avoid using unions to solve problems, “frankly, that’s a good thing,” says Jeff Wilson, chief litigation officer at young Basile < / P > < p > but Wilson said there are also practices that are illegal, such as using such monitoring to block union activities or to monitor private Facebook chats. < / P > < p > it has been reported that Amazon’s whole foods supermarket has created a union tracking system. This suggests that “sophisticated employers” are increasingly adept at squeezing union activities, coshan said. < / P > < p > “they will employ not only lawyers, but also anti union advisers.” Coshan said. “They will invest in the deployment of video surveillance measures, highlighting strong opposition to trade unions. It is very difficult for trade unions to overcome this problem. ” Courtney says he witnessed some of these practices 20 years ago. He started a campaign with a division of communications workers of America, a trade union organization, to organize hundreds of Amazon customer service people in Seattle. Amazon later shut down the call centers where these employees worked in a major restructuring. Before Courtney joined the Amazon Union, he also tried to organize Microsoft contract workers to join the Union in the 1990s. Courtney believes that Microsoft was more tolerant at that time, while Amazon seems to have adopted the anti union strategy common in traditional industrial enterprises. < / P > < p > Amazon has created a website to issue various warning signals at any time to let managers know that employees are trying to organize certain activities. The company also holds regular meetings to discuss why trade unions are not conducive to the development of the enterprise. “I think Amazon was more active in discouraging workers, which was rare in the technology industry at the time,” Courtney said. A lot of what we see today is just a further extension of that period. ” < / P > < p > some of Amazon’s internal employees, as well as some employees of casual economy companies such as instacart and target’s ship, have moved organized activities to the Internet. After all, it is difficult to really protect privacy and achieve anonymity in workshops or lounges. During and before the outbreak, Facebook groups and encrypted chat apps such as signal and telegram have become popular among active employees. < p > < p > John Hopkins, who works at Amazon’s San Leandro distribution center, is trying to organize union activities with digital tools. Hopkins is outspoken in criticizing Amazon’s approach to workers. He also co founded Bay Area Amazon earlier this year in the hope of ensuring a safer working environment. < / P > < p > Hopkins is creating a new online organization platform on zoom’s keybase. Keybase is an end-to-end encryption and security service. It also provides secure chat and file sharing functions. To use the platform, workers must create a decentralized identifier similar to a bitcoin address that is recognizable to others who have joined the network, but anonymous to anyone who is not authorized. < / P > < p > in the end, Hopkins hopes that his colleagues will be able to use the platform to sign union authorization cards digitally – a method that the National Labor Relations Council has allowed since 2015. “On Facebook forums, for example, there are all kinds of conversations that attract you to interesting discussions, and then people come to remind you that it’s not really safe here,” Hopkins said. So even if Amazon doesn’t intervene, it will have a chilling effect. ” Mr. Hopkins said his aim was to give warehouse workers the confidence to control their information. He admits it will take time to teach colleagues how to use the system, but he believes people are willing to learn. “To my dismay, people seem to think that the people in the warehouse are uneducated,” Hopkins said. In my experience, this is not the case. To be honest, I don’t think these things are so complicated that they can be mastered by the workers. ”

By ibmwl