Sunday, May 9, 2021

Remembering HCL, wondering what's happening now

 Wondering how Ben Gwin and his HCL co-workers are doing now? Is he still hopeful as in this interview? My concern is HCL will send the jobs to Poland or elsewhere, anyway and Google will not be impacted (nor HCL). 

A new effort to unionize at Amazon: the Amazon Labor Union

 This time in Staten Island, New York, with a new independent union: The Amazon Labor Union (the site is not completely operational yet). all our best wishes.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Contract Worker Disparity Project

 A very interesting initiative of the Tech Equity Collaborative, the Contract Worker Disparity Project. I wish they could research/monitor how things now are for Microsoft's suppliers employees. Without such persistent monitoring, double-checking, things could easily get worse or not better (as they should).

Monday, April 12, 2021

"Post Mortem", a very interesting article on the Amazon Bessemer story

 Written by Jane McAlevey for The Nation, "Blowout in Bessemer: a post mortem on the Amazon campaign". I was also told that on the 505 ballots that were "challenged", 400 were contested by Amazon (no explanation available yet if ever).

Still not sure how many pledge cards were submitted.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Did the Bessemer's Amazon workers workers say no to a union by a wide margin?

We can read the workers at Bessemer's Amazon plant said no to a union by a wide margin. If we look at the numbers, we are told there were 5.805 workers who received ballots to be mailed back: 3215 were returned so 2590 workers did not vote: that's 44,6% of the total workforce. 

There were 1798 NO ballots counted (not including the 505 that were contested) that's 55% of the votes but only about 31% of the total workforce of 5.805 who were eligible to vote. The fact that 505 ballots were contested, supposedly mostly by Amazon, not the union, does not seem to concern many commentators, because even if they were all in favor of the union, it would not change the final result. Maybe so but why were so many ballots 'contested'? 15% of the votes contested, that's substantial. Who is going to give us a detailed explanation? Are we going to know wether they were NO or YES ballots? 

Considering all that, I dont think it's accurate to say the workers said no to a union by a wide margin: 31% of the total workforce voted no, less than the 44% that did not vote. Last but not least, for the vote to take place, the workers had to sign pledge cards: it's not clear how many such pledge cards were submitted by the union and certified by NLRB. I read 2000 or 3000. Both numbers are higher than the number of No votes. Why did those pledges not translate two months after they were signed into more votes in favor of a union? What caused such an 'erosion'? The habitual answer is the negative impact of the intense anti-union propaganda produced by the employer (linked with the threat/fear of losing the job with the plant moving somewhere else). What's next?

Friday, April 9, 2021

The election for a union at the Amazon plant in Alabama... if it was in France. (as if)

 After the lost election for a union in Alabama, I think it would be interesting to collect and compare the regulations in place in various countries where Amazon operate as far as elections for a union are concerned.
I suggested to Amazon Workers International to organize such a survey because many (most?) US citizens have no idea how things are outside of the US.
For instance, I just looked for the situation in France as far as the employer's obligations are concerned: the employer has an obligation of neutrality, ie zero propaganda by the employer is allowed for or against the union. In French:
This is a drastic difference with the US (understatement).
If a union gets at least 10% of the votes, it is considered 'representative' within the company.
Another drastic difference with the US. As it is, the union would be considered as representative in the plant in Alabama as they got more than 10% of the votes.
If you have contacts with people in the various countries where Amazon operates who could explain what their situation is, comparing it with what happened in Georgia, I think it would be instructive for the Americans who could read, or listen to it :).
Below the results as presented by NLRB: click on the text.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

HCL/Google violate the workers rights to organize by closing down the lab in Pittsburgh

 We just learned the bad news of HCL closing down the lab in Pittsburgh to send the jobs to Poland. Exactly the same illegal run away shop strategy Lionbridge/Microsoft used against our small union. Shame on HCL. Protest on their accounts on Linkedin, Twitter, Youtube etc.