Pluralistic: 19 Jan 2021

Originally published at: https://pluralistic.net/2021/01/19/deastroturfing/


Today's links



Amazon warehouse union gets tech solidarity (permalink)

While many Amazon warehouse workers in Europe have unionized, its brutalized, underpaid, routinely maimed US workforce remains tragically unorganized, thanks to the US's weak labor laws that make forming a union far harder than at any time since the Gilded Age.

But all that may be about to change: 6000 warehouse workers in BHM1, the massive Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, AL, will vote next month on a push to unionize under the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.

https://www.npr.org/2021/01/15/948819324/amazon-warehouse-workers-to-decide-whether-to-form-companys-first-u-s-union

Amazon, like other tech giants, is absolutely reliant on building and maintaining a competitive advantage by exploiting technology to drive wages ever downward while ducking responsibility for harming workers.

Big Tech is pants-wettingly afraid of unionization, and that goes double for any solidarity between high-paid tech workers and misclassified/outsourced warehouse workers and other "unskilled" laborers.

Amazon has gone so far as to hire the Pinkertons, renowned as some of history's most violent anti-worker terrorists, to bust unionization drives in its shops:

https://pluralistic.net/2021/01/04/how-to-truth/#awu

But while the Pinkertons are engaging in covert surveillance, infiltration, and retaliation, Amazon is also running a soft-power op called #DoItWithoutDues, grounded in the idiotic lie that unions cost workers more than they gain:

https://www.doitwithoutdues.com/

The Tech Workers Coalition has fired back with a debunking site, #DoItWithRealPower, that copies the layout from Amazon's astroturf site and rebuts it, point by point:

https://justdue.it/

This would be a super-fun, gnarly copyright/fair use case (law school profs, take note), but the substance is even more fascinating: you won't pay dues until your union gets a contract, which will get you higher pay.

Not just pay, but also an effective grievance procedure to address Amazon warehouses' manifestly unsafe working conditions.

https://bamazonunion.org/amazons-working-conditions-are-not-safe

"On average, unionized workers earn 19% more than non-unionized workers so, if you make the average $31k a year, a union could win you an increase in YOUR PAYCHECK of $5,900 annually. That’s a whole lot more dinners, school supplies, gifts, and dignity."

The site ends with a link to the Bessemer Amazon Union drive:

https://bamazonunion.org/



This day in history (permalink)

#15yrsago Mysterious birthday ritual at Poe’s graveside disrupted by rubberneckers https://web.archive.org/web/20060212041742/https://www.cnn.com/2006/US/01/19/poe.mystery.ap/index.html

#15yrsago Nutjob offers $100 bounty to UCLA students who wiretap lefty profs https://web.archive.org/web/20060219020333/https://www.cnn.com/2006/EDUCATION/01/19/ucla.radicals.reut/index.html

#5yrsago Transreal Cyberpunk! Rudy Rucker and Bruce Sterling’s book of annotated, seminal cyberpunk fiction http://www.rudyrucker.com/ruckersterling/

#5yrsago The Democratic Party’s SOPA-loving, Snowden-hating, Hillary-partisan power-broker has her first-ever primary challenger https://theintercept.com/2016/01/19/meet-debbie-wasserman-schultzs-first-ever-primary-challenger-tim-canova/

#5yrsago Griefer hacks baby monitor, terrifies toddler with spooky voices https://sfglobe.com/2016/01/06/stranger-hacks-familys-baby-monitor-and-talks-to-child-at-night/

#5yrsago GM’s Dieselgate: mechanics privately admit software update removes crimeware from Opel cars https://web.archive.org/web/20160126055328/http://deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws.english/videozone_ENG/1.2549687

#5yrsago How the standard, high-quality disaster-relief tarpaulin came to be https://www.wired.com/2016/01/tarpaulin/

#5yrsago England’s most senior civil judge rules that Terrorism Act violates human rights https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/19/terrorism-act-incompatible-with-human-rights-court-rules-in-david-miranda-case



Colophon (permalink)

Today's top sources: Clarissa Redwine (https://twitter.com/ClarissaRedwine).

Currently writing: My next novel, "The Lost Cause," a post-GND novel about truth and reconciliation. Yesterday's progress: 562 words (100534 total).

Currently reading: Analogia by George Dyson.

Latest podcast: Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town (part 27) https://craphound.com/news/2021/01/11/someone-comes-to-town-someone-leaves-town-part-27/

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