Amazon's war against the unions has once more been exposed. Internal Amazon reports written in 2019 by Amazon intelligence analysts who work for the Global Security Operations Center, the company's security division reveal in stark detail the company's obsessive monitoring of organized labor.
The documents show Amazon analysts closely monitor the labor and union-organizing activity of their workers throughout Europe, as well as environmentalist and social justice groups on Facebook and Instagram.
They also indicate, and an Amazon spokesperson confirmed, that Amazon has hired Pinkerton well known for its union-busting activities—to spy and gather intelligence on warehouse workers.
The security division's team members around the world receive updates on labor organizing activities at warehouses that include the exact date, time, location, the source who reported the action, the number of participants at an event (and in some cases a turnout rate of those expected to participate in a labor action), and a description of what happened, such as a "strike" or "the distribution of leaflets." Other documents reveal that Amazon intelligence analysts keep close tabs on how many warehouse workers attend union meetings; specific worker dissatisfactions with warehouse conditions, such as excessive workloads,
Amazon intelligence analysts gather information on labor organizing and social movements to prevent any disruptions to order fulfillment operations. The new intelligence reports reveal in detail how Amazon uses social media to track environmental activism and social movements in Europe—including Greenpeace and Fridays For Future, environmental activist Greta Thunberg's global climate strike movement—and perceives such groups as a threat to its operations.
In 2019, Amazon monitored the Yellow Vests movement, also known as the gilet jaunes, a grassroots uprising for economic justice that spread across France—and solidarity movements in Vienna and protests against state repression in Iran.
"It’s not enough for Amazon to abuse its dominant market power and face antitrust charges by the EU; now they are exporting 19th century American union-busting tactics to Europe," Christy Hoffman, general secretary of UNI Global Union, a global federation of trade unions that represents more than 20 million workers, told Motherboard. "This is a company that is ignoring the law, spying on workers, and using every page of the U.S. union-busting playbook to silence workers' voices." She continued, "For years people have been comparing Big Tech bosses to 19th century robber barons. And now by using the Pinkertons to do his dirty work, Bezos is making that connection even clearer."