What Did Amazon Do This Week? - 03-04-2022
AMAZON HAS ITS FIRST UNION IN 27 YEARS OF DOING BUSINESS
Workers at Amazon's Staten Island facility secured a union with a 2,654 to 2,131 majority. The result is a first for any Amazon warehouse in the U.S. (Amazon’s main honeypot). A feat that took 27 years to come to fruition after several attempts. Amazon is obviously ‘disappointed’; they spent $4.3 Million on anti-union consultants In 2021 alone (for context, they spent $20.3m on lobbying the whole of D.C. in the same period). Looks like they underspent on both fronts.
The Street called the win ‘a violent slap’ for Amazon that sends a message to other tech giants. A sentiment hard to disagree with; this is a big deal. Other big tech giants have unions and different conditions, but Amazon does tend to be the face of employee dissatisfaction. Many experts believe the lack of unions in the U.S. to be a cause of many issues to do with inequality (fair wages, job security, and safe work environments all intermingle).
Reuters summed up the union issue in the U.S.: “Among U.S. wage and salary workers last year, 10.3% were in a union - half of the 1983 percentage - and union membership in the private sector including Amazon and Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) was just 6.1% last year. There were 149 union elections in January and February of this year, compared to 103 in the same two months last year.”
Amazon is raising minimum wages in areas (and as we have seen previously), causing other businesses to raise minimum wages. Some have argued that this practice is a symptom of the issue as much as a cure. Biden seems happy.
Ultimately the win, and activities surrounding it, is a bad look for Amazon in the eyes of the world, other employees, Congress etc. Amazon has said it may file objections, and if and when the ALU's victory is finalised, it still must win a contract. A lot is in the details here.
Think of this as a David vs Goliath case; a single employee turned this situation from zero to massive reform for Amazon. The result is a watershed moment for Amazon and has big ramifications for other companies like Walmart, Uber etc. The battle is over, but time will tell us how Amazon decide to work with the union. It's important to remember a huge battle was won by the union no doubt, but Amazon has not lost the war. Bessemer is looking like it'll go in Amazon's favour. Also, Amazon has a lot of cards it can play down the line. Bargaining begins in May.
REMINDER: BOLD = Important/large impact story
Amazon picked up six Japanese titles and live boxing rights. /Variety
Amazon Prime Video is launching a Bond-themed competition show /SA
Amazon is remaking ‘Call My Agent’ (UK series). /Variety
Studio 100 Media partners with ZDF Studios for Amazon Prime channels. /Variety
Amazon Prime Video will broadcast 21 NY Yankees games this season. /NJ
A Judy Blume documentary is in the works at Amazon. /Southern Living
CNN+ will launch on Amazon devices. /Bloomberg
Amazon introduces first heavy goods EV’s to UK fleet. /Tamebay
Alexa can now notify you about deals up to a day in advance. /Verge
Prime Air is secretly recruiting for and testing delivery to 1,300 users. /BI
AWS released Amazon GameSparks into Preview. /InfoQ
Amazon made ‘Glow’, its video calling and projector device aimed at kids, available to all in the US for $299. /TechCrunch
FBA fee changes went into effect on March 31, 2022. /Amazon
Mobile App data is now available in the Business Reports tool. /Amazon
Amazon renews Prime credit card tie-up with JPMorgan Chase after flirting with American Express. /CNBC
Single-use plastic delivery bags will no longer be used by the Amazon UK distribution network. /Tamebay
Amazon now has a Pokemon t-shirt subscription service. /Gamerant
Amazon launched Smbhav Entrepreneurship Challenge 2022 in India for startups. /Amazon
Amazon opened an office in Chenna, India. /Amazon
Amazon is helping Chinese Sellers with metrics issues caused by covid. /Amazon
Amazon announced its Smbhav Summit 2022 will be held on May 18th & 19th. /Amazon
U.S. lawmakers open probe into Amazon labour practices after tornado deaths. /Reuters
Amazon has erased its 2022 loses already. /Bloomberg
Amazon Games chief, Mike Frazzini, stepped down. /Bloomberg
Andy Jassy (CEO), snagged $212m for his new role. /THR
Amazon opens a support network for refugees. /Adweek
While not looking good, the Alabama union vote is still not decided. /Reuters
Amazon workers say they weren’t all alerted as smoke spread through a warehouse. /Verge
Blue Origin’s 4th flight went off without a hitch (and celebrities). /Reuters
The Justice Department is endorsing legislation forbidding Amazon (and others) from favouring their own products. /WSJ
Future Retail CEO resigned amidst legal battle and debt woes. /Reuters
Amazon was named the top company for innovation. /WSJ
Shein is raising money on a $100 billion valuation. /Bloomberg
Netflix is struggling to get subscribers in India. /Bloomberg
What’s behind the recent geographic shift in marketplace sellers. /Modern Retail
Is Amazon punishing Sellers victimized by fake review sites? /ECB
The Pentagon has delayed the JEDI contract until December. /SA
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