Amazon landed in hot water this week when job posts revealed apparent details about the company’s strategies for identifying potential union activity in its workforce.
Marcus Courtney is a veteran labor advocate who helped launch the call center campaign. In an interview with GeekWire this week, he said that Amazon is employing the same approaches, 20 years later.
“They always felt that they needed to have a strategy in place to dissuade workers from organized union activity,” he said. “You saw that in 2000. That’s what they did in 2000, that’s the seed that took hold then, and that has continued with the latest revelation.”
Five King County Councilmembers – Girmay Zahilay, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Rod Dembowski, Dave Upthegrove, and Joe McDermott – sent a letter to Gov. Inslee today urging him to issue an executive order to guarantee Washington State will pay for any COVID-19 related medical bills for underinsured or uninsured Washingtonians who do not receive federal assistance from the CARES Act. __________________________________________________________________________________
Courtney Public Affairs May 4, 2020
State-wide leaders urge Gov. Inslee to sign COVID-19 Executive Order on Medical Bankruptcy Seattle— Activists, community and labor leaders joined together in requesting Gov. Inslee to issue an executive order to pay medical bills for COVID-19 treatment of any uninsured or underinsured person in Washington state in a letter released today.
“It is well-recognized that the leading cause of bankruptcy in the US is unexpected bills due to a medical crisis … As a country we stand alone in the world where someone could face financial ruin for contracting COVID-19,” wrote the petitioners.
The “future of work” is increasingly in the news, as people try to guess when advances in technology will replace workers on a mass scale. That discussion often leaves the impression that the impacts will be felt far in the future, some 20 years or more from now.
As someone who has spent nearly 20 years exploring the connection among labor, politics and technology, I can tell you that workers are already feeling the impact of artificial intelligence, big data and robots, thanks in part to climate change.