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Amazon Training Video Says Managers Can Call Unions ‘Cheating Rats’

October 7, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

SEATTLE, Wash.—A 45-minute training video Amazon sent managers at Whole Foods last month tells them it’s OK to tell workers that “unions are lying, cheating rats”—as long as it’s their personal opinion and not a direct threat. “We are not anti-union, but we are not neutral either,” the video, obtained by Gizmodo, states. “Our business model is built upon speed, innovation, and customer obsession—things that are generally not associated with unions.” The warning signs it tells “team leaders” to look out for include workers hanging out in the break room after their shift, wearing clothing with union logos or slogans, and showing an “unusual interest in policies, benefits, employee lists, or other company information.” It instructs them to report any signs of potential organizing to human resources and general managers immediately. Short of an explicit threat to close the store if workers unionize, it adds, “almost anything you say is lawful.” Whole Foods “is afraid of organized labor and these trainings speak to that fear,” one organizer told Gizmodo. Amazon, which bought Whole Foods for $13.7 billion last year, complained after the article was published that the reporter had “cherry-picked sound bites from the video.” Read more

October 7, 2018

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