AMAZON PROTESTS: Why did the company hire former FBI agents?
Campaigners in Darlington call for action as Amazon profits triple amid reports of union busting and poor treatment.
Amazon is one of the largest corporations in the world, delivering spontaneous shopping treats to your door, offering streaming services for your favourite flicks and more. The tech giant, which began as an online bookseller, is now rapidly hiring for its global security center in the United States. As the firm expands and faces new challenges, including increased antitrust scrutiny, counterfeiting issues, and pressure from worker activism, the company is staffing up with former FBI agents, with a focus on security and intelligence-gathering ability.
Between 2017 to 2020, the multi-billion pound technology conglomerate hired 20 former FBI agents, at least 2 of whom are reported to be responsible for monitoring the labor-organizing activity of its workers, or as some employees put it, keeping unions out.
Campaigners at the Darlington Amazon protests unfurled a giant banner at The Amazon Fulfilment Centre in Darlington to call on Amazon to sign up to a declaration which would guarantee workers the freedom to talk with and form a union without fear. Unite Union is calling on Jeff Bezos to sign up to a declaration of neutrality. The giant banner displayed the Union’s hotline number for workers.
Amazon is also facing legal action in Spain for reportedly using the notorious Pinkertons to spy on warehouse workers planning a strike in Barcelona. In the late 19th century in the US, Pinkertons was notorious for planting detectives to infiltrate unions and intimidate workers from engaging in union activity.
As part of the Amazon protests, Unite has launched a confidential whistle-blowing hotline which has opened in the UK & Ireland. Amazon workers can anonymously call 08000 14 14 61 in the UK if they feel poorly treated, or visit
Recently, Amazon reported that its first-quarter profit more than tripled from a year ago, fuelled by the growth of online shopping. In the first three months of this year, the company reported profit of £5.8 billion, compared to £1.8 billion the year before.
Amazon say "We will not oppose the decision of any worker to freely join a trade union of their choice." They also acknowledged the right to freedom of association saying they will "allow union representatives reasonable access to common areas in Amazon workplaces in order to meet with workers" and "will not discriminate in any way against any worker for being a member of a trade union."
Watch the channel on TV