Amazon Accused Of Union-Busting After Deleting Thousands Of Employee Names From Directory

Amazon is once again being accused by its employees of union-busting. This time it’s from its deletion of employees from an internal directory.

Recode reports:

“Last week, Amazon made changes to its internal online staff directory, deleting hundreds of thousands of entry-level warehouse workers’ profiles from a tool that allows any company employee to view the full names and photos of other employees.

What might seem like a run-of-the-mill company decision has sparked speculation among Amazon’s corporate employees on internal listservs and warehouse workers on platforms like Reddit that Amazon made the change to discourage potential union organizing at its warehouses. Thousands of Amazon warehouse employees in Alabama are currently voting on whether to form a union in the first large US union election in the company’s history. An Amazon spokesperson said the impetus for the move was to focus on improving a different app that warehouse employees use more often, and she declined to comment on the union speculation.

The employee directory in question is known as the Amazon Phone Tool, which allows employees of all levels to do things like search for other employees anywhere in the company, see where they work, and view the hierarchy of managers all the way up to Jeff Bezos . . . Previously, all entry-level warehouse workers — known as Tier 1 associates in Amazon parlance — had profiles in this directory and would turn up in search results. But as of last week, Amazon removed them . . .

‘It is the easiest way to get a full name and a picture of associates,’ a former Amazon warehouse manager told Recode. The former manager requested anonymity for fear of retaliation.

These current and former employees speculated that Amazon wants to prevent workers from passing along that information to outsiders, whether union reps or reporters. With names and photos of all workers, internal or external union organizers could have an easier time contacting workers outside of work to try to build support for unionization.”

For the rest of the story, visit Recode here.

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