According to a new complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board, online retail giant Amazon has been engaging in illegal activity by attacking union organizers and prohibiting talk of unionizing at their plants. Amazon has gone as far as to call the police on employees for just talking about forming a union, the complaint alleges. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.
*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.
Mike Papantonio: According to a new complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board, online retail giant, Amazon, has been engaging in illegal activity again, by attacking union organizers again, and prohibiting talk of unionizing at their plants again. This is just who they are, isn’t it? They hate unions. They hate taking care of workers. This story just tells it all, doesn’t it?
Farron Cousins: It really does because we’re looking at a company that has called police on union organizers. Like, hey, you’re in the factory talking about the union. We’re gonna have the police come and harass you, is what this complaint from the NLRB says. They’ve said that they’re forcing employees to sit through anti-union training where they play these idiotic videos that talk about, oh gee, we’re a family here and if you join a union, you’re hurting your family. You don’t want to do that to your brothers and sisters, do you? It’s the most idiotic corporate propaganda out there. And every horrible thing you could do to these union organizers from spying on ’em, to calling the cops, to outright firing them for mentioning the word union, Amazon has done it.
Mike Papantonio: Okay. They can’t be on grounds after their time is up. You if check out, you gotta leave. You can’t talk about unionizing while you’re on the clock. But here’s what, I mean, much worse than that. This is the tip of the iceberg. You know, we see where these corporations are actually following people, taking pictures, hiring private investigators to follow ’em and catch ’em doing something improper. But I love this one. There at New York, Staten Island, 8,000 workers, they were able to unionize. That’s a shot across the bow, isn’t it? And that scares the hell out of Amazon. That really scares ’em, because they know that it’s possible. Right?
Farron Cousins: They do. And that’s across the board, not just at Amazon, we’ve been witnessing this bit of a kind of union renaissance taking place. You know, we’ve seen it at Starbucks. We’ve seen it within the media. We’ve got the big strike right now in Hollywood. Every worker is demanding more. And it’s been that way since the pandemic really hit hard. People realized, listen, I’m slaving my life away and it could end like that. When we had that virus that was so horrendous going around, and people suddenly started looking at their own mortality, I think that kind of psychologically got people in the mood to, you know what, if I drop dead tomorrow and I’ve been working for $8 an hour at an Amazon, this isn’t worth it. This isn’t a life. And they want better. And I think that plays a big role in it.
Mike Papantonio: Hey, do you think Bezos is gonna have to sell his 350 foot yacht, or is he gonna have to get rid of a spaceship or two to pay for all this? This is a disgusting character. I mean, he really is. And he could, look, sell the yacht. Pay these people, pay these people a living wage. This is not tough to deal with. Make yourself look like a hero. Instead of buying the Washington Post and having the Post be your mouthpiece on everything you want. People don’t realize that he even owns the Washington Post. That all the stories that come out of there are driven by Bezos. So if you think the Washington Post is gonna be great on this story, forget it. Matter of fact, if you think that any corporate media is gonna be great on, corporate media worries about the same thing, as you know.
Farron Cousins: Yeah. And this story actually was written by Josh Eidelson, who way back in the day, we used to have him on Ring of Fire all the time. I think he was with Think Progress. But anyway, good labor reporter. He may have been Salon, I can’t quite remember. But he’s still, he’s true to his roots. He’s doing a great job covering all of this.
Mike Papantonio: Well, but it is amazing. You know, people say, well, why do I only hear these stories on this channel? Why do I only hear the stories here? It’s a simple explanation. We don’t need advertisers. We don’t, if we didn’t get another dollar from anybody, this place is so financed that we’re gonna go on and say what the hell we wanna say, as long as we wanna say it. And nobody’s gonna, you know, subscribers aren’t gonna mess with that. Advertisers aren’t gonna mess with that because of the way this is set up. And so I just feel like I wish corporate media could say the same thing. But they won’t do a story on this because they’re worried about their own people unionizing, right?
Farron Cousins: Yep.