📦 Amazon Delivers A New Promise
Amazon and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) have reached a settlement that allows workers at the retailer to freely organize without retaliation by the company. The settlement comes in the wake of mounting pressure on Amazon to improve pay and working conditions for their employees, and follows a failed unionization attempt at an Alabama warehouse that is coming under new scrutiny.
Details of the settlement reveal that Amazon will notify some 750,000 employees of their workplace rights and, according to NPR, "pledged it will not threaten workers with discipline or call the police when they are engaging in union activity in exterior non-work areas during non-work time."
In November, the NLRB ruled that Amazon "improperly pressured warehouse staff" ahead of a unionization vote at a Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse. The employees will be allowed to re-do their vote.
Retention, Retention, Retention
Amazon's settlement with the NLRB comes as the company is hemorrhaging employees. "You’re seeing such an interesting mix, where the kind of basis of an employer’s relationship with their employee is really starting to show to be a critical part of their business," Karen Weise told the New York Times. This has led some to wonder if the e-commerce giant's new tone is actually a strategic decision to focus on worker retention, and thus ensure its plans for growth are staffed with enough employees.
Amazon telling the NLRB it's going to do something doesn't mean it will. However, a $4 billion investment by the company this holiday season back into its workforce shows that the company is getting serious about its own relationship with its employees.