As Amazon on Sept 27 opened up a new physical store in New York called Amazon 4-star, which stocks only products rated with four stars or higher on the online retailer's site, the company was also facing a report highlighting some of its anti-union efforts at its Whole Foods stores.
The website Gizmodo posted screenshots of a video it said it obtained, and which Amazon sent to Whole Foods team leaders last week, as part of a company attempt to tamp down union-organising efforts at the grocery store chain. The 45-minute-long animated video purports to show Whole Foods team leaders ways to recognise and deal with pro-union talk among the grocery stores' employees.
Gizmodo only posted screenshots and quotes from the video, saying it wanted to keep its sender anonymous.
Gizmodo said that among the comments on the video were a narrator saying, “We (Amazon) do not believe unions are in the best interest of our customers, our shareholders, or most importantly, our associates.”
The video also gave team leaders terms and situations to look for that might indicate pro-union tendencies among employees, including the distribution of fliers and petition, the use of terms such as “steward” and “living wage” and the wearing of any clothing emblazoned with pro-union statements. Currently, there are no unions representing Amazon workers.
Amazon acquired Whole Foods in 2017 for US$13.7bil (RM56.66bil).
In a statement given to this news organisation, Amazon didn't address the Gizmodo report, but said the company does “respect the individual rights of associates and have an open-door policy that encourages associates to bring their comments, questions and concerns directly to their management team. We firmly believe this direct connection is the most effective way to understand and respond to the needs of our workforce”.
Amazon went on to say that it believes it is “a fair and responsible employer and as such we are committed to dialogue, which is an inseparable part of culture”. – The San Jose Mercury News/Tribune News Service