U.S. Senators ask Amazon about employee tracking and union-blocking allegations

(Reuters) — 4 Democratic U.S. senators on Thursday despatched a letter to Amazon.com’s Leader Govt Jeff Bezos, difficult solutions over its alleged strikes to trace and observe workers and restrict efforts to shape unions.

Democratic senators Brian Schatz, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Kirsten Gillibrand requested the corporate for main points at the steps it takes to deter staff from organizing, the way it tracks staff who take part in moves and the regulation companies Amazon contracts with for union avoidance.

“The truth that Amazon has made up our minds to closely put money into techniques to retaliate in opposition to freedom of expression about unsafe and dangerous running stipulations, and to consult with organizing and staff’ rights mobilization efforts as threats in opposition to the corporate equivalent to these posed by way of hate teams and terrorism, is unacceptable,” the letter led by way of senator Brian Schatz stated.

In September, a analysis paper from the Open Markets Institute, a Washington-based analysis and advocacy workforce, additionally stated Amazon is determined by in depth employee surveillance to spice up worker output and doubtlessly restrict unionization efforts round the US.

The letter from the lawmakers on Thursday referred to a number of media articles that experience reported identical motion by way of the store.

This month, Amazon stated greater than 19,000 of its U.S. front-line staff reduced in size the unconventional coronavirus this 12 months, or 1.44% of the whole, a disclosure sought by way of exertions advocates who’ve criticized Amazon’s reaction to the pandemic.

An Amazon spokeswoman stated the corporate respects its workers proper to sign up for or shape a exertions union with out concern of retaliation, intimidation or harassment.

At the factor of tracking, the spokeswoman stated Amazon came upon one workforce inside its supply workforce that was once aggregating knowledge however the observe is in opposition to corporate requirements and the workforce is now not doing so.

Reuters reported in Might that Amazon has lengthy resisted unionization. Amazon spokeswoman Rachael Lighty stated on the time that Amazon already provides what exertions teams are soliciting for.

(Reporting by way of Nandita Bose in Washington; Modifying by way of Nick Zieminski, Robert Birsel)

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