Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by martyb on Saturday April 10 2021, @02:11PM   Printer-friendly
from the people-have-spoken dept.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/04/the-amazon-union-drive-in-alabama-appears-headed-for-defeat/

Update: A majority of workers have voted not to form a union at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Bessemer, Alabama. The result of the NLRB's initial vote count was 1,798 votes against the union and 738 in favor. Hundreds of additional ballots were not counted because their authenticity was disputed. But the "no" side already has a majority of the 3,215 votes cast, making the issue moot.

Original story, April 8: A closely watched effort to unionize an Amazon fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama appears to be headed for defeat. With about half the votes counted, 1,100 workers have voted against forming a union, while only 463 voted in favor.

The National Labor Relations Board is counting the 3,215 votes that were cast by workers at the Bessemer facility. The union needs to win at least half the votes in order to become the official representative of the roughly 6,000 workers at the Bessemer facility. Counting has ended for the evening and is scheduled to resume at 8:30 am Central Time on Friday.

Also at The Washington Post, c|net, and Al Jazeera.


Original Submission

 
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
1 (2)
  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @02:48PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @02:48PM (#1135685)

    When the idiot union leaders decided to give the robots an equal vote, they should have realized that Amazon would just import some friendly robots before the vote.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @03:39PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @03:39PM (#1135696)

    The unions must be against 'rage packing' (the opposite of 'wrap rage').

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrap_rage [wikipedia.org]

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by istartedi on Saturday April 10 2021, @06:15PM

      by istartedi (123) on Saturday April 10 2021, @06:15PM (#1135746) Journal

      The best piece of advice I ever got regarding this was to buy a pair of tin snips. These are just what you think they might be from the name--a pair of specialized scissors designed to cut sheet metal. They chew through clam-shell plastic like butter. You just have to be careful about the sharp edges they leave behind. And best of all, the snips were simply wired to a piece of cardboard when I bought them. Now, selling tin snips in clam-shell plastic packaging... that would be truly rage inducing.

  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Mojibake Tengu on Saturday April 10 2021, @03:54PM (6 children)

    by Mojibake Tengu (8598) on Saturday April 10 2021, @03:54PM (#1135703) Journal

    And with spectacularly stupid population of serfs like these, you expect to... colonize Mars?

    --
    The edge of 太玄 cannot be defined, for it is beyond every aspect of design
    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday April 10 2021, @05:10PM (1 child)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 10 2021, @05:10PM (#1135732) Journal
      Who is "you" here? And what's stupid about the serfs?
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 12 2021, @07:02AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 12 2021, @07:02AM (#1136277)

        He's talking about Americans. Only thing worse than dragons (Gerard Butler's character in "Reign of Fire"), and only people with less education than dragons (rather Smaugish, it's a fever).

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @07:09PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @07:09PM (#1135762)

      And who are you, who have no stake in the outcome, to call the workers stupid for making a choice that doesn't fit your political bias?

      • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @08:27PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @08:27PM (#1135788)

        It's Mojibake. Some flavour of Russian, probably an alcoholic.

        • (Score: 2) by Anti-aristarchus on Monday April 12 2021, @07:04AM

          by Anti-aristarchus (14390) on Monday April 12 2021, @07:04AM (#1136278) Journal

          Do you have any idea how many Czechs there are in SN? Not as many Slovaks, but that is to be expected.

          --
          More truth to be done.
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @10:13PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @10:13PM (#1135828)
      They’re be in the B Ark: there will be LOTS AND LOTS of B Arks.
  • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @04:41PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @04:41PM (#1135716)

    The most vocal, angry, rigid union refuseniks that I've ever known weren't fanatics from the heartland with Trump bumperstickers and huge IRAs. They were working folks who'd been in union shops and hated it like poison. They hated the rulebound nature of things getting in everybody's way, they hated the way that the unions were corrupt and protected the biggest dirtbags, they hated the way that direct interaction with management was basically impossible, they hated all sorts of things that they'd experienced first-hand.

    So I'm kind of wondering what the makeup of the worker population was there, and how many of them were former union. My bet is: a highly nontrivial percentage.

    One more reason for private sector unions to be cratering in the USA.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @01:27AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @01:27AM (#1135863)

      I smell a scab. Probably an Uber driving untermensch. Or, a corporate shill. Unions are coming back. There is just a Huge propaganda campaign against them. I wonder why? Right to be unemployed Laws? Libertarian immiserization of the lumpen proletariat? Or just Americans are not completely stupid enough to consistently vote against their own interest. Have some Obamacare, homie!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @06:12AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @06:12AM (#1135960)

        Nah, I've just worked in multiple union and non-union shops over the years, in multiple industries, and I've had lots of watercooler conversations about unions.

        Y'know. Talking to people as if they were real people, instead of statistics.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @11:19AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @11:19AM (#1135994)

        I smell a salaried professional pretending to be pro-worker. Many unions are good, but just as many are corrupt sellouts, and even the good unions help unproductive people at the expense of good workers. Go find a UAW member that has something good to say about the union...

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday April 11 2021, @01:45PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 11 2021, @01:45PM (#1136012) Journal
        And Lucy won't take the football away this time, I swear.
  • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @04:51PM (37 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @04:51PM (#1135721)

    The workers voted to keep their low wage but steady jobs and not self immolate for the greater glory of the Democrat Party. Everything else about this story is commentary, mostly from the Communists who lost this one.

    Yes there are major problems facing workers, seizing the means of production and giving control to Communists doesn't work. Anyone with a functioning brain saw enough examples of it not working in the 20th Century, it was the big driver behind it being one of the bloodiest ever. But, because the Communists still control the bounds of debate, nobody is even seriously addressing the actual problems. Rising automation is eliminating low skilled labor entirely. Massive immigration, legal and illegal, putting downward pressure on wages, both skilled and unskilled. Insane drive for short term corporate gains. Easy and unlimited "free trade" (read managed) driving a race to zero on almost everything. No loyalty between management and labor, in either direction.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @04:59PM (36 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @04:59PM (#1135726)

      I understood that Amazon already pays above market rate. The whole thing about delivery drivers peeing in bottles is a problem, but that applies to UPS and FedEx drivers too. Maybe they should have travel potties in the trucks? My grandparents had one in their camper van.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @05:14PM (31 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @05:14PM (#1135734)

        Not really when compared with other warehouse jobs. I don't know what the going rate is down there, but around here I regularly see warehouse jobs starting at $20 an hour. Granted it's been a few years, but it's will above the current minimum wage around here. Amazon should be paying far more from that considering that they don't allow bathroom breaks and are making such ungodly sums of money on the work that's being done at those warehouses.

        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @05:30PM (22 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @05:30PM (#1135741)

          Amazon should be paying far more from that

          No, Amazon shouldn't be paying any more than the minimum needed to attract the workers they need (subject to legal requirements, such as minimum wage). If there are warehouse jobs starting at $20 an hour (as you claim), then the Amazon workers are free to take those jobs.

          And, if the Amazon workers aren't leaving for better-paying jobs, then there must be some reason other than pay that are keeping them at Amazon (work conditions? Location?)

          No one is being forced to work at Amazon.

          • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Saturday April 10 2021, @08:11PM (21 children)

            by Thexalon (636) on Saturday April 10 2021, @08:11PM (#1135781)

            And, if the Amazon workers aren't leaving for better-paying jobs, then there must be some reason other than pay that are keeping them at Amazon (work conditions? Location?)

            No one is being forced to work at Amazon.

            I'm just going to take a guess here: Amazon employs thousands of people, amounting to over 10% of the locality where this warehouse is located, and if they all lose their jobs at once then it's highly unlikely they could all find new jobs. And since these are people with most likely limited assets, and Alabama's social safety net sucks, if they don't keep working any job they have, they'll be starving on the street in short order.

            So I guess you aren't *forced*, but your only alternative is starvation and homelessness. Not sure how not-coerced that is.

            --
            The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday April 10 2021, @08:51PM (7 children)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 10 2021, @08:51PM (#1135797) Journal

              So I guess you aren't *forced*, but your only alternative is starvation and homelessness.

              Or those $20 per hour jobs people keep talking about. One doesn't have to take 6000 coworkers with them when they job hop.

              • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Saturday April 10 2021, @08:56PM (6 children)

                by Thexalon (636) on Saturday April 10 2021, @08:56PM (#1135801)

                And if there were 6000 $20/hr warehouse openings in the local want ads, do you think anybody would be working a $15/hr warehouse job? Sure, any individual might be able to make that leap, but if everyone does it at once, it doesn't work.

                That's why economics is complicated: What's smart for one person to do isn't necessarily smart for 10,000 people to do all at once.

                --
                The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @04:16PM (3 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @04:16PM (#1136039)

                  Most of the concept of minimum wage is silly anyways. If everyone gets paid more businesses will just raise their prices to pass those costs back onto consumers which creates higher prices which means the extra money everyone gets can't buy you more stuff. Rent will go higher because now everyone can afford to pay more.

                  Money is just an arbitrary number. It's just a medium of exchange. Your account balance is nothing more than an arbitrary number in a computer. When you send money around you are just flipping random numbers in a computer.

                  What underlies it is what matters. Aggregate output. If a town has 1000 people but only 100 homes then you average 10 people per home.

                  If the world has 1000 square feet of land and you have 1000 people then you average 1 person per square foot. If the overall population keeps growing (as it is) you are then going to reduce the average per square foot of land.

                  Regardless of minimum wage, account balance, whatever, you can set those arbitrary numbers on everyone's computers to whatever values you want and change them all you want it doesn't change the underlying reality of what wealth is. Wealth is not some arbitrary number on a computer (your account balance, some arbitrary minimum wage with bits and bytes flying around and changing what those bits and bites are). Wealth is aggregate output. The production of goods and services and the availability of the things that people want. Money has no intrinsic value. It's just an arbitrary number.

                  Economies only work if people work. It doesn't matter if the minimum wage is a thousand dollars an hour. If no one is working then the goods and services that you want to buy with that money don't exist and so that money is worthless.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 12 2021, @06:48PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 12 2021, @06:48PM (#1136592)

                    I used to think that too, but that reasoning misses a critical factor: Not all costs are labour, nor is labour the only cause of inflation. Pretty much all of the inflation we've seen over the last 40 years has been from over-investment in the financial markets. The economy has become dangerously top heavy and correction is being actively prevented by corrupt regulators. When that bubble pops it will make post-WWII Germany look like a cake-walk. The only other way out is to preemptively raise wages until the financial bubble is deflated away. Naturally this can't be done all at once or it will trigger the very collapse we are trying to avert, and we can expect resistance from the financial sector, but this is the only non-destructive way to rebalance the economy.

                  • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Monday April 12 2021, @09:34PM (1 child)

                    by Thexalon (636) on Monday April 12 2021, @09:34PM (#1136686)

                    In addition to ignoring all the costs of production that aren't labor that a sibling comment correctly pointed out, you also ignored everything that behavioral economics and every marketing department everywhere has learned over the past century, namely that pricing is in part psychological. For instance, most people will buy for $1.99 what they won't buy for $2.00, and it's not because they're stupid or that penny matters all that much too them, it's because how people feel about the pricing changes because of the first digit in the price.

                    Or, in other words, just because a smartphone is $699 does not mean it cost anything close to $699 to make. You don't need to take my word for it, just read the quarterly investor reports for Apple, Samsung, etc.

                    --
                    The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13 2021, @01:09AM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13 2021, @01:09AM (#1136786)

                      Trouble is, that's a two-edged sword.

                      Sure, pricing is psychological, but this also extends to the pricing of things like shares, and when those are influenced by corporate metrics such as per-unit profit margins (Apple being a handy example you brought up) then yes, labour expenses immediate drive a large chunk of the retail price. I mean sure, we all know about Veblen goods and so on, but those are outliers in the general scheme of things.

                      What's much more significant in this case is where a higher minimum wage puts the labour element in the general calculus of other considerations. We actually don't even have to speculate, because the last fifty years of international trade has given us a few trends to consider. Higher wage levels have persistently led to increases in hiring workers who are under financial pressure, offshoring, and/or automation. It's called substitution, and when what you're doing is shifting the balance between one commodity (say, electricity) and another (labour), you will get purchasers (corporate planners) pushing for less of the more expensive one in favour of more of the cheaper.

                      One of the weirder results of this is a creeping rise in the measured productivity of workers - but the funny thing is that this is measuring how much is produced per worker without correcting for capital investment in the worker's environment. Go figure, one dude surrounded by twenty million dollars' worth of machinery can move mountains compared to the same dude with a shovel.

                      At the same time, the people who get those fancy jobs buoyed by the higher minimum wage are still seeing their purchases being nibbled at by the resulting inflation, even if inflation doesn't keep perfect pace with their pay rises. (As it is, inflation is not what people think it is, because of the politically convenient move to chained CPI - if you check the old CPI measure, you see it's a couple of percent higher than the government claims, and has been since they made the change in the '80s.)

                      Right now employment rates are pretty good, but it's worth pointing out that government in the USA at every level has been soaking up more and more employees, and a lot of the old skilled labour jobs have gone offshore. The fourth generation, service industry jobs aren't really all that great for many people, but they're the new factory floor in terms of employing new entrants. Even so, they're offshored as much as people can get away with. Just think of all the complaints about Comcast or Dell customer service with incomprehensible accents and shitty scripts.

                      In the final analysis, the ultimate minimum wage is nothing - or what you can get under the table. Raising it looks good for the headlines, but doesn't fix the problems we really have while generating new ones that we don't want.

                      I'd sooner see no minimum wage, and a wall-to-wall revenue tax on businesses.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @04:31PM (1 child)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @04:31PM (#1136043)

                  "What's smart for one person to do isn't necessarily smart for 10,000 people to do all at once."

                  Exactly. Something that's smart for one person would give that person a relative advantage compared to everyone else. If everyone did it then doing so would give no one a relative advantage.

                  This goes back to what I said about the minimum wage. It may be smart for one person to get paid more because it gives them a relative advantage in terms of their ability to pay for their expenses compared to their competition. But if you raise everyone's wages (the minimum wage) then no one gets a relative advantage and everyone is back to square one. Your wage went up but so did your competitors (other workers that are also competing for the goods and services you want to consume including rent). Everyone is back to square one.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @04:43PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @04:43PM (#1136047)

                    It can reasonably be said that raising one person's wage relative to someone else's gives that one person a relative advantage.

                    It's much more difficult to say that raising everyone's wages (the minimum wage) will give everyone an absolute advantage.

            • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Sunday April 11 2021, @03:03AM (12 children)

              by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Sunday April 11 2021, @03:03AM (#1135893) Journal

              Don't you love how these gibbertarian fucksticks go "hurr hurr you're free no one's forcing you free market hurp-a-derp ptttbhrtrht?"

              That is incredibly disingenuous and dishonest. Sure, no one's holding a gun to their heads and saying "work here or we'll shoot you." But I think I'd rather be shot than die of poverty.

              --
              I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday April 11 2021, @02:11PM (5 children)

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 11 2021, @02:11PM (#1136014) Journal

                Don't you love how these gibbertarian fucksticks go "hurr hurr you're free no one's forcing you free market hurp-a-derp ptttbhrtrht?"

                Truth is an absolute defense against your derps. No one is forcing you to free market.

                Sure, no one's holding a gun to their heads and saying "work here or we'll shoot you." But I think I'd rather be shot than die of poverty.

                And there we go. The false dilemma of work at Amazon or die of poverty. You could always get a different good job if Amazon isn't good enough for you, right?

                • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @02:40PM (1 child)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @02:40PM (#1136021)
                  Except that what you wrote wasn’t teue. If unions are so bad for employees why do employers fight them so much?

                  Simple - companies like Amazon can’t compete on quality - most of the shit sold on Amazon is crap that wannabe Amazon sellers buy from other Amazon sellers.

                  And now that Amazon is trying to generate more revenue by hiding the cheap selling, you can get much of the stuff they sell online locally on sale for less.

                  Most sellers generate less then $8k a year in sales. But they stick to it because they want to live the dream of sitting in their fat asses making money selling online rather than actually working.

                  And that $8k is gross sales, not net profit. They would be far better off working a minimum wage job.

                  As the economy recovers brick and mortar will do fine, because Amazon sellers can’t compete on quality.

                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday April 11 2021, @10:07PM

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 11 2021, @10:07PM (#1136140) Journal

                    If unions are so bad for employees why do employers fight them so much?

                    Because they're bad for employers. Duh.

                    What I think is missed here is that just because something is bad for employers, doesn't make it good for employees. You can have a negative sum game here.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @04:53PM (1 child)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @04:53PM (#1136054)

                  The false dilemma of work at Amazon or die of poverty. You could always get a different good job

                  did you even read the last 2 comments dude

                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday April 11 2021, @10:08PM

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 11 2021, @10:08PM (#1136142) Journal
                    Yes, I did read the last two comments, dude. Hence, the snippy comment.
                • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @05:29PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @05:29PM (#1136063)

                  "The false dilemma of work at Amazon or die of poverty."

                  We should bring that false dilemma to its logical conclusion. He should be grateful that there is an Amazon to give him a job because if there is no Amazon then he would have no job. So we need to be VERY careful about not forcing Amazon to do anything that might cause them to either go out of business or cut their workforce to stay afloat.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @05:05PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @05:05PM (#1136056)

                Move to a socialist country then like Venezuela.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @05:22PM (4 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @05:22PM (#1136060)

                "But I think I'd rather be shot than die of poverty."

                Then be grateful that there is an Amazon to give you a job because the alternative is that you have no job.

                • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Monday April 12 2021, @12:21AM (3 children)

                  by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Monday April 12 2021, @12:21AM (#1136189) Journal

                  Nahhh, I'll be grateful I've got the skills, certifications, and luck to get hired at a decent-sized hospital, *with a union,* and get to do work I love helping to save lives! :)

                  --
                  I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 12 2021, @01:08AM (2 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 12 2021, @01:08AM (#1136206)

                    "Sure, no one's holding a gun to their heads and saying "work here or we'll shoot you." But I think I'd rather be shot than die of poverty."

                    So then you have no reason to complain about dying of poverty if you don't work for Amazon.

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 12 2021, @07:30AM (1 child)

                      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 12 2021, @07:30AM (#1136284)

                      I see that this got marked as troll. Maybe I need to spell out the point of that snarky response. The fact that the poster in question doesn't even work for Amazon further highlights the fact that working for Amazon or starving is a false dilemma.

                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 12 2021, @03:44PM

                        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 12 2021, @03:44PM (#1136462)

                        and I think the point that's missed is that the poster chose what the poster thinks its best for him/her. The poster chose what he/she wanted.

                        Someone else chose a different job. They voted not to have a union. Who is this poster to tell these other workers what's best for them? Why should this poster impose what he/she thinks is best for someone else on someone else. Maybe those other people are happy not to have a union. Who are you to tell someone else what is in their best interest better than themselves.

                        I've talked to homeless people and some of them told me they are happy to not have a home. They want to live on the streets. Should we impose our concept of what we believe is best for them onto them? Or should we let them decide.

                        Same for Amazon workers. Should we decide for them that their own decisions are bad because they are too stupid to make good decisions and so we have to impose what we think is best onto them? Are they pets that want to eat junk food and not go to the vet when they are sick because they don't like shots and we have to make sure that we feed them the right thing and make sure they get their shots? Or do they have brains of their own and they can decide, for themselves, what they think is best for them. What they want out of the agreement between them and Amazon. If they want a union they can make that decision and if they decide no then it's not your position to call them stupid and brainwashed and whatnot. They are capable and intelligent enough to make their own decisions. Stop insulting them.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @07:16PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @07:16PM (#1135763)

          $20/h? I only made $11 as a tech support agent, and that was after two raises and a promotion.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @07:58PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @07:58PM (#1135772)

            You would have been paid better if you were a member of the steelworkers or teamsters.

            You may think warehouse work is mindless physics labour, but if wages are decent, there’s a lot of institutional knowledge embodied in the workforce, and that increases productivity and cuts losses.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @01:30AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @01:30AM (#1135864)

              So you are suggesting that Amazon needs a "Circuit City Solution"? Fire everyone with seniority and institutional knowledge to replace them with minimum waged imbeciles? What ever happened to Circuit City, anyway?

        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by khallow on Saturday April 10 2021, @08:07PM (4 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 10 2021, @08:07PM (#1135778) Journal

          Not really when compared with other warehouse jobs.

          Amazon tends to use lower skilled workers too. After all, if those other warehouse jobs pay $20 per hour and Amazon pays $15 per hour, then why are you working at Amazon? Answer: because you're not skilled or experienced enough for those $20 per hour jobs.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @01:33AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @01:33AM (#1135865)

            Or, because you're not skilled or experienced enough to vote for a union. Are you blaming the victim again, khallow? Bad form!

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday April 11 2021, @02:12PM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 11 2021, @02:12PM (#1136015) Journal

              Or, because you're not skilled or experienced enough to vote for a union.

              That's supposed to be a thing?

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @11:26AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @11:26AM (#1135995)

            I think in most of the country, Amazon is on the better paying end of the warehouse jobs market rather than the lower end. I was surprised they paid only $15/hr anywhere, as they could get away with it in my area but are starting above $20/hr.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @04:18PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @04:18PM (#1136040)

            It's because those other warehouses aren't as large. They don't need as many workers, so even if all jobs at those facilities opened up, you would likely still have a substantial number of amazon employees looking for work. People underestimate just how big amazon is.

            You also assume that they don't, but I'd wager that the rate of burnout at those amazon warehouses is rather high due to the conditions.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Taxi Dudinous on Saturday April 10 2021, @05:16PM (3 children)

        by Taxi Dudinous (8690) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 10 2021, @05:16PM (#1135735)

        When Amazon made the big PR announcement about paying above market rate, they also eliminated benefits and incentive programs that cost motivated employees a significant amount of money. Thereby all but eliminating any reason to perform above the minimum level to keep the job.
        https://www.cbsnews.com/news/amazon-to-cut-bonuses-for-warehouse-workers-and-stock-benefits-as-it-raises-minimum-wage-to-15/ [cbsnews.com]

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @08:14PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @08:14PM (#1135783)
          They figured that by @gamifying” the jobs they could increase competitive behaviour among workers by more than enough to make up for the loss of motivation by dropping other programs.

          It “sort or” works - now people compete to see how little they can get away with and how many ways they can stick it to the man without getting fired. Because human nature is human nature, and people want to fuck over those who fuck over them.

          Looking for another part of runners the same make and model as I bought last year, people said “why not go online.” I explained that I’d rather create jobs locally, and wasn’t surprised that local shops selling them on special are cheaper than buying online. And not enough more expensive when not on special to deal with the hassles of ordering online and waiting a day or two for delivery.

          Plus in the store I can test competing shoes for fit and comfort, and in the end that’s worth a few bucks more.

          • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Sunday April 11 2021, @12:38AM (1 child)

            by MostCynical (2589) on Sunday April 11 2021, @12:38AM (#1135856) Journal

            when there IS a store I can visit, I will reward them with my money..

            when there isn't... I can't.

            chicken and egg?

            How many of those local stores were driven out of business by cut-price online and cut-price national/multi-national companies?

            --
            “I've learned from experience that asking politely never works unless you have the upper hand.” Daisuke Aramaki, GIS:SAC
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @03:11PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @03:11PM (#1136027)
              One of the effects of Amazon growing so big is that they need to keep growing. Their online market is vulnerable to competition that is more focused, and that’s what’s happening.

              Under pressure to increase profits, Amazon is giving higher priced items more visibility, and they’re just not as competitive as a result. This is the end game of de facto monopolies - prices go up, creating opportunities for competition.

              This creates opportunities for regional players to serve markets that are currently under-served. Some via their own online stores, some by opening up in abandoned stores. Because there’s always someone looking for a way to make a buck. Entrepreneurship isn’t going to go away.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by istartedi on Saturday April 10 2021, @06:28PM (8 children)

    by istartedi (123) on Saturday April 10 2021, @06:28PM (#1135750) Journal

    As others have pointed out, casting a "no" vote there is rational even if you want the protections the union could theoretically provide. There's too big a chance that the site would just shut down.

    The problems they're up against are too big to solve with a union vote at one plant. You would need political action not only state-wide, but perhaps nation-wide to avoid corporations venue shopping. That's what hollowed out the Rust Belt.

    Not only do you need nation-wide worker protections, you need trade policy that prevents firms from fleeing. It can be tariffs, or it could be keeping the corporate tax low to keep them here, or perhaps a few other things; but it needs to be thought about and it needs to be dynamic in response to changing global conditions.

    That's a tall order, and US unions at this point are basically firms that make money from doing lots of ad-hoc negotiations with employers that are unavoidably captive such as government workers, hotel workers, etc.

    If you supply a steady stream of dues, the unions will represent you; but they will not lobby for the kind of cost-effective low-maintenance legislation that would protect all workers regardless of contract status.

    There's no money in it.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @08:04PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @08:04PM (#1135777)

      Parent said:
      "You would need political action not only state-wide, but perhaps nation-wide to avoid corporations venue shopping. That's what hollowed out the Rust Belt."

      The people of Alabama are very aware of why those jobs were moved to the non-union South, and how easily those jobs could leave them too if they get greedy.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @07:12PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @07:12PM (#1136100)

        That's a b.s. rationalization. Being in a union doesn't guarantee that the work becomes expensive. They don't just get to have unlimited demands. Neither of the unions that I'm currently in have delivered much more than a basic wage with basic benefits. I'm better off than without the unions, but I'm hardy going to get rich of it either.

        This is more about Bezos being a psychopath that would rather park an ambulance on site than keep the temperature in the warehouses safe. A union wouldn't tolerate that. It's not like her can't afford safer work conditions, he just chooses not to provide them.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Thexalon on Saturday April 10 2021, @08:29PM (2 children)

      by Thexalon (636) on Saturday April 10 2021, @08:29PM (#1135789)

      You would need political action not only state-wide, but perhaps nation-wide to avoid corporations venue shopping.

      There allegedly are nationwide worker protections such as the NLRB and EEOC, but there are various techniques that companies use to avoid being affected by them. And yes, there would have to be and almost definitely should be nationwide and international political action to make horrendous conditions illegal, although for $ome rea$on those political efforts tend to not turn into policy or enforcement regardless of which political party is in charge of which parts of the government.

      ... or it could be keeping the corporate tax low to keep them here ...

      As for international conditions, I'll just point out US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen just went public with another approach to this problem: Work with other countries to make the corporate tax rates standard across all countries, so that corporations can't flee to the lowest tax rate because there isn't one. I'm not optimistic about her chances, but it's certainly an interesting idea.

      --
      The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by istartedi on Saturday April 10 2021, @11:30PM (1 child)

        by istartedi (123) on Saturday April 10 2021, @11:30PM (#1135842) Journal

        I would like her very much to succeed, and not just for the good it would do. It would also be highly amusing to see a former Fed chair become a hero to the working class.

        • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Monday April 12 2021, @09:25PM

          by Thexalon (636) on Monday April 12 2021, @09:25PM (#1136679)

          Yellen should in fact be regarded as a hero of working people: As Fed chair, she insisted on keeping the stimulus efforts under her control going until unemployment was back down to pre-crash levels, against a lot of banker-backed opposition that wanted her to stop them and pivot back to improving their interest margins as soon as Wall Street had bounced back. That decision was critical to the economy from about 2012-2016.

          So her sympathies are pretty clear.

          --
          The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday April 10 2021, @08:37PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 10 2021, @08:37PM (#1135791) Journal
      Notice that we already have nation-wide worker protection, and it perversely has sabotaged union formation.

      The National Labor Relations Board is counting the 3,215 votes that were cast by workers at the Bessemer facility. The union needs to win at least half the votes in order to become the official representative of the roughly 6,000 workers at the Bessemer facility.

      Already we have an all or nothing nation-wide law intended to protect workers. Either everyone is represented by this union or nobody is, and all it takes is a simple majority. I bet there's a fair number of workers that might be interested in trying out labor union membership without a long term commitment. But they're not going to get that in this election - better to vote no than to take a plunge into something risky and almost impossible to reverse.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @01:12AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @01:12AM (#1135862)

      "The problems they're up against are too big to solve with a union vote at one plant. You would need political action not only state-wide, but perhaps nation-wide to avoid corporations venue shopping."

      Why shouldn't they venue shop? Why shouldn't the MLB be allowed to say: "These georgian racist pigfuckers are way off the deep end, we're out and they can suck it up with a sump pump." Why shouldn't Planned Parenthood be able to throw up their hands and say: "Good people of Louisiana, we'd love to help you, but those hidebound god-botherers you keep electing have driven us out." Why shouldn't the Bunny Ranch be able to say: "Utah, we'd have set up in Salt Lake City for you to get your rocks off, but the pasty-faced blue-balled closet cases that sock-puppet your government won't let us in the state."

      At some point if you have any kind of differentiation on any dimension of commercial or social policy, you will have corporations with location preferences. Look at the firearms manufacturers eyeing states like Wyoming, or Amazon deciding after AOC banged her wardrum, that HQ2 wasn't going to be in New York, or (as I pointed out above) the MLB deciding that the air in Georgia didn't suit them any more.

      The problem is that the moment you want to solve that by strict regularisation of all commercial and social policy across states, you're effectively abrogating states' rights to a degree incompatible with even the still-twitching mangled remains of the 10th amendment. Policies on treatment of trans/intersex people? All the same now. Policies on voting, including rehabilitation of felons? All the same now. Policies on agricultural practices such as California's laws on farrowing crates? All the same now, all in the cause of trying to feverishly erase any vestige of a reason for a corporation to prefer one location over another for some reason that somebody might attach to a notion of moral rectitude. This is not possible under the federal system as currently constituted.

      To put it another way: until you can get a supermajority of people to think that a federal system is a bad idea, and to enforce top-down, one-size-fits-all policy on the nation, you can't have this.

      "Not only do you need nation-wide worker protections, you need trade policy that prevents firms from fleeing."

      You must be joking. Straight-forward mercantilism is a broken approach, and ideas and cash are not unique to any one nation. If the progressive movement manages to toss out the first amendment so that we can ban hate speech and microaggressions, mandate corporate censorship and sideline religious objections, how long do you think it would take before the likes of Facebook found reasons to transfer people, money and intellectual property to various subsidiaries that just happened to be headquartered elsewhere, finally leaving a sort of symbolic rump in California like a museum piece? And if you genuinely try to imprison their top coders and designers in the US of A, why shouldn't they just fire those guys, and establish ButtBook of Bangalore, and hire a lot of indian programmers and designers? Do you want to prevent all international financial transfers and emigration? That's what it would take.

      As for Yellen's pipe dream, good fucking luck. Countries have absolutely no reason to collaborate on tax rules unless they're bound into some sort of situation the way that Ireland is. Caribbean tax havens know perfectly well that they'd plunge below banana republic status the moment that their rules had to comply with everybody else's everythings. You could have a great big G7 meeting in Brussels with all the heavy hitters and big knobs glad-handing and smiling for the cameras, and signing Letters of Intent and International Understandings and Memoranda of Collaboration or whatever the fancy terms were, but if Notax Island, somewhere east of Nicaragua, decided not to join that party? Good luck - better yet, because of national independence, they'd have plenty of support from every country (such as Liberia) that likes to make it easy to flag your freighters there.

      To bring it closer to home, what if a Mom-and-Pop shop decides to open on Mainstreet, Suburbia, not far from BigCity because BigCity has restrictive rules, exploitative taxes and no parking while Suburbia keeps the sales taxes low, rules lightweight and plenty of parking? Are Mom and Pop now officially Bad People(tm) for venue-shopping? Because that's plainly what it is. "Where we gonna open the pie shop, Momma?" "Suburbia, where the fuckheads can't crawl up my snatch with a wirebrush every week!" Venue-shopping. Eeeeevil.

      But let us know how else you'd envision doing this.

    • (Score: 1) by js290 on Sunday April 11 2021, @02:56AM

      by js290 (14148) on Sunday April 11 2021, @02:56AM (#1135890)
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by crafoo on Saturday April 10 2021, @07:16PM (4 children)

    by crafoo (6639) on Saturday April 10 2021, @07:16PM (#1135764)

    You know, if Amazon had real competition, it's employees could just go elsewhere for a better deal. But no. Retarded neo-communists sit on their ass "working" on zoom and ordering everything from a single outlet. The mob is the problem. Not the corporations. Hopefully COVID and then the hyper-inflation wipes most of you out.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @08:15PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @08:15PM (#1135784)

      Amazon may be the largest but they are hardly the only warehouse job around. Every big-box store and every shipping company has them.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @10:23PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10 2021, @10:23PM (#1135831)
        You could make the same argument about Microsoft and Apple -there are other operating systems vendors around. Didn’t work out too well, did it? It’s hard for the competition when a few big guys suck all the oxygen up. It also doesn’t help when people aren’t willing to spend a few extra bucks to support local jobs - though that has changed. Local stores are more and more offerings the same or better deals than Amazon, and Amazon is coasting on the previous assumption they are cheapest. Often the only thing cheap is the quality.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @02:24AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11 2021, @02:24AM (#1135880)

          Apples and oranges. Operating systems have network effects that amplify dominant positions. Amazon doesn't have a monopoly on the warehouse employment business and workers don't have compatibility issues if they switch companies. They also don't have exploitative contracts with warehouse manufacturers that block other companies from hiring.

    • (Score: 1) by js290 on Sunday April 11 2021, @02:51AM

      by js290 (14148) on Sunday April 11 2021, @02:51AM (#1135888)

      "In the truly freed-market, labor unions would be allowed to operate just as any voluntary association and groups like the IWW show us a way to unionize without appealing to the state for favors." - @MakhnoTits [twitter.com] https://t.co/5HhwE9ekB1 [t.co]

      — C4SS (@c4ssdotorg) March 29, 2021 [twitter.com]

1 (2)