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Thu Feb 5, 2015, 11:01 PM

 

Amazon belonged to ALEC until pressured to quit in 2012. What's the problem with pressuring them

over their unfair labor practices?


Protesters Confront Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos
Richard (R.J.) Eskow May 29, 2012

During Amazon’s annual shareholder meeting on Thursday, May 24, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos was confronted by protesters from Working Washington, a coalition which includes community groups, unions and members of Occupy Seattle. As police evicted demonstrators, Bezos told shareholders that nine out of Amazon’s ten best-selling products were either digital content or digital platforms like the Kindle. Bezos was making a point: the physical world is being phased out of Amazon’s business plan...

Amazon has received intense and well-deserved criticism for working conditions in its warehouses, where temperatures can reportedly rise above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The people working inside them are underpaid, overworked, subject to firing without cause and deprived of employee benefits. Amazon gets away with this because it uses a variety of legal tricks, like demanding that its employees call themselves “independent contractors.”

Amazon has also taken heat for its membership in ALEC—the American Legislative Executive Council—a corporate-funded group that backs right-wing politicians. ALEC also drafts and promotes laws like those that effectively disenfranchised large numbers of minority voters, the “Stand Your Ground” legislation that has resulted in the death of Trayvon Martin and a number of other people, and the anti-union laws brought to national attention by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

If nothing else, Bezos offered symbolic gestures of conciliation today...Bezos did not announce that employees in Amazon’s warehouses would receive the benefits they’re due under state and national law, or that Amazon would stop forcing them to declare themselves independent contractors.

And Amazon was behind the curve in withdrawing from ALEC, lagging well behind companies such as KFC, Taco Bell, Coca-Cola, Proctor & Gamble, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Intuit, McDonald’s, PepsiCo and Kraft Foods. Most of these companies left ALEC more than a month ago, when revelations about its role in “Stand Your Ground” gave renewed momentum to demands that corporations leave it.

But then, ALEC has treated Amazon very well. It has defended the “Amazon loophole” that allows online sellers to avoid charging sales taxes the way other businesses do. This unfair advantage has given Amazon a lot more clout against neighborhood bookstores and retail book chains—clout it has used to drive many of them out of business....A recent report in the Seattle Times noted that, unlike Microsoft and Boeing, Amazon gives virtually nothing to Seattle-area charities.

Bezos is a libertarian who reportedly exults in the fact that Amazon’s loophole prevents the government from collecting taxes. He appears to exemplify a certain kind of Internet or computer entrepreneur—call them “digital libertarians”—who can be visionaries in technological and cultural ways and yet blind to social and economic realities....

http://www.thenation.com/article/168109/protesters-confront-amazon-founder-jeff-bezos#







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Reply Amazon belonged to ALEC until pressured to quit in 2012. What's the problem with pressuring them (Original post)
ND-Dem Feb 2015 OP
Dreamer Tatum Feb 2015 #1
ND-Dem Feb 2015 #2
MohRokTah Feb 2015 #6
ND-Dem Feb 2015 #7
MohRokTah Feb 2015 #8
daredtowork Feb 2015 #3
Dreamer Tatum Feb 2015 #4
daredtowork Feb 2015 #5
ND-Dem Feb 2015 #9

Response to ND-Dem (Original post)

Thu Feb 5, 2015, 11:07 PM

1. You know, Amazon will probably refund your money for whatever went wrong. nt

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 5, 2015, 11:10 PM

2. I've never ordered anything from them. Never wanted to, because I knew people who worked for

 

them at the beginning. Their culture sucked then and sucks worse now. Bezos owns one of the biggest sweatshops in the world.

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Response to ND-Dem (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 12:51 AM

6. Cool story, bro. eom

 

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Response to MohRokTah (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 01:14 AM

7. like i said before, i couldn't care less what you believe.

 

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Response to ND-Dem (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 01:14 AM

8. Cool whatever, bro. eom

 

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 5, 2015, 11:36 PM

3. While it's obvious ND-DEM has a cause

What is your point in mocking it? Amazon has done irreparable damage to bookstores, book publishers, and traditional distributors. That infrastructure will be gone when Amazon goes "full digital". And this doesn't even broach the issue of how Bezos is exploiting workers to conduct such a business. In the end he will offshore his ill-gotten gains, as all libertarians do, and he will make his escape to some Galt Island in the South Pacific.

If ND-DEM has the energy to pursue Amazon, why not cheer him on?

I'm starting to get disgusted by the mocking elite of "small tent" democrats - if they even really ARE democrats - around here. There seems to be a concerted effort to peel off any "margins" of the party - too socialist, too new age, wrong view on iraq, wrong view on snowden, anyone that can be mobbed without too much opposition.

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Response to daredtowork (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 5, 2015, 11:50 PM

4. lighten up, Francis

It is called a joke. One can't always be Bono in the 80's.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 12:46 AM

5. The Vax-Attacker Mob has me on edge

Last edited Fri Feb 6, 2015, 02:36 AM - Edit history (1)

I apologize if you didn't mean to undermine ND-DEM's personal activism.

HA - in his Amazon-love OP, one of the Vax-Attackers in chief writes that he felt he had to "counter all the Amazon Hate threads". As if this were even a dent in all the Vax Spam that's been burying DU for the last week. Holy crap, the hypocrisy!

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 01:15 AM

9. whats the joke? (or were you referring to bono in the 80s?)

 

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