No to Amazon’s anti-union policy

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No to Amazon's anti-union policy




In an Amazon warehouse in Rheinberg, Germany.


© Martin Meissner
In an Amazon warehouse in Rheinberg, Germany.

MEPs remind the CEO of the company, Jeff Bezos, that freedom of association and the right to organize are the foundations of the international labor organization from which Amazon can in no way be exempted.

Tribune. Mr. Bezos, we learned in the press that Amazon had published two job offers, in which we could read that the company was looking for “Intelligence analysts”. These “analysts” would have had the task of monitoring the various “threat” collected by Amazon. Among these, unionism.

The term “Workers’ organization” appears three times in the middle of other categories such as “Hate groups”, “terrorists” and “Political leaders hostile to Amazon”, putting them in fact, on the same level. French and Spanish, as the languages ​​required of applicants, suggest that this monitoring would be applicable in Europe as well.

It is with great concern that we question your intentions: is it to target trade unionists and Amazon workers, but also political representatives, including ourselves, MP Europeans, who would express a criticism of your activities?

Following the outrage aroused by their publication, the two job offers were withdrawn from the Internet by Amazon which explained: “The sheet did not correctly describe the position. It was made in error and has since been corrected. ” How did such a job description come into being?

Warning signs are multiplying about your company’s anti-union policy. The layoffs of Amazon employees in the United States at the heart of the Covid-19 pandemic, because they had organized a meeting with other employees or for having denounced their working conditions, have is causing a stir on this side of the Atlantic. On our continent, testimonies from workers and trade unionists from several European countries tell us about the pressures they are under in order to prevent employees from organizing, the demands that fall on deaf ears. and the constant fear of being kicked out.

We knew that within your warehouses, the intensity of the pace of work, the constant pressure for productivity, the management based on the constant and timed control of work gestures, the blackmail of individual performance, in particular allow you to prevent any form of collective organization of workers. This form of work organization is already more than open to criticism. To recruit employees to spy on potential opponents, internal or external, would be intolerable.

We, MEPs, point out that freedom of association and the right to organize are the foundations of the International Labor Organization. Respecting them is not optional, Amazon is subject to compliance with these fundamental conventions for our company.

We also wonder about the definition “State actors hostile to Amazon”. Who are we talking about? As MEPs, have you spied on us? Did you intend to?

We are representatives of countries where democracy and freedom of expression cannot be questioned by any business, including yours. We are the guarantors of this. The exponential growth in Amazon’s profits since the start of the pandemic cannot allow you to exempt yourself from respecting these fundamental and legal principles.

We are therefore concerned to know whether European trade unions as well as local, national or European elected representatives are concerned by this approach, which aims to suppress all collective action. We hope that your response will allay our concerns about trade union and political freedoms that your communication has aroused.

Tribune initiated by Leïla Chaibi, MEP for La France insoumise.

Signatories: MEPs Alviina Alametsä (Finland, Verts / ALE), Konstantinos Arvanitis (Greece, GUE / NGL), Manon Aubry (France, GUE / NGL), Margrete Auken (Denmark, Verts / ALE), Brando Benifei (Italie, S&D), Manuel Bompard (France, GUE / NGL), Milan Brglez (Slovénie, S&D), Saskia Bricmont, (Belgium, Verts / ALE), Johan Danielsson (Suède, S&D), Ozlem Demirel (Germany, GUE / NGL), Raphael Glucksmann (France, S&D), José Gusmão, (Portugal, GUE / NGL), Eero Heinäluoma (Finland, S&D), Krzysztof Hetman (Pologne, PPE), Agnes Jongerius (Pays-Bas, S&D), Kateřina Konečná (Czech Republic, GUE / NGL), Marisa Matias (Portugal, GUE / NGL), Emmanuel Maurel (France, GUE / NGL), Younous Omarjee (France, GUE / NGL), Anne-Sophie Pelletier (France, GUE / NGL), Kira Marie Peter-Hansen (Denmark, Verts / ALE), Manu Pineda (Spain, GUE / NGL), Evelyn Regner (Austria, S&D), Sira Rego (Spain, GUE / NGL), Diana Riba and Giner (Spain, Verts / ALE), Maria Eugenia Rodriguez Palop (Spain, GUE / NGL), Andreas Schieder (Austria, S&D), Günther Sidl (Austria, S&D), Kim van Sparrentak (Netherlands, Verts / ALE), Marie Toussaint (France, Verts / ALE), Miguel Urbán Crespo (Spain, GUE / NGL), Ernest Urtasun (Spain, Verts / ALE), Idoia Villanueva Ruiz (Spain, GUE / NGL), Nikolaj Villumsen (Denmark, GUE / NGL), Marianne Vind (Danemark, S&D), Bettina Vollath (Austria, S&D), Salima yenbou (France, Verts / ALE).

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