Changing the rhythm of a traffic light to fight against an embryonic unionism? Amazon did. The multinational put pressure – successfully – on the authorities in the city of Bessemer, Alabama. Under the pretext of decongesting the surroundings during team changes in its warehouse, the world number one in online commerce has obtained that the lights are green for longer. Consequence: for the unions, the distribution of leaflets has become significantly more difficult since December 15.
This is one of Amazon’s many tactics, revealed recently, to discourage its employees from unionizing. In a few days, or even a few hours, the result of a long-awaited vote will be known. From February 8 to March 29, the 5,800 employees of the Bessemer logistics center voted on whether or not to join a union. A first for Amazon in the United States – where it has more than 800,000 workers – a first that the company headed by Jeff Bezos wants to avoid at all costs.