Segment on union busting from John Oliver rips Amazon and tactics other companies use

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Amazon is in the crosshairs again during a new segment on union busting from “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.”

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The HBO show took on the tech giant as part of a lengthy explainer on the strategy companies work to discourage workers from unionizing.

Among jabs at Amazon, Oliver pointed to a “leaked internal video” from Amazon instructing its managers on the warning signs to watch out for when it comes to a potential union event. Obvious signs include the use of words like “living wage” or “reserves,” the animated video says.

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Oliver said in response to the clip, “Set aside that the phrase ‘living wedge’ has to be taken off completely like the first warning sign of a stroke,” adding that it was “an enormous amount of pressure” on Amazon and others. It’s worth noting that companies can put pressure on employees who are considering organizing.

Amazon successfully backed a unionization effort by a retail, wholesale and department store union in Bessemer, Ala., to organize about 6,000 warehouse workers last spring. A report a few months later by a hearing official from the National Labor Relations Board said Amazon had stepped outside acceptable guidelines and put undue pressure on workers against unionizing, and said the election should be rescheduled.

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Oliver’s segment comes just days after Amazon employees at a Staten Island, NY, fulfillment center Withdrew the petition to hold union elections After failing to collect enough signatures from the workers.

Seattle-based coffee giant Starbucks was also called out by Oliver on Sunday’s show because it’s also running workers trying to organize Buffalo, NY. in the cafe

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