Amazon Ran Anti-Union Ads On Twitch For About An Hour Before Twitch Took Them Down
Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, has removed anti-union ads posted by the company that showed employees taking a stand against unionization and directing viewers to Amazon’s DoItWithoutDues website.
A Twitch spokesperson stated that the ads “should never have been allowed to run on [the] service,” since they violate the platform’s political advertising policies, adding that the company is “evaluating [its] review processes to ensure that similar content does not run in the future.”
The ads are part of a campaign targeting unionization efforts at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama. The company has responded to attempts by employees to organize by calling mandatory meetings, texting staff, placing anti-union posters, and reportedly disrupting traffic lights to prevent a union drive.
Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) president Stuart Appelbaum responded to the ad campaign saying, “Amazon feels that it has to go to extremes like this in order to gaslight its workers about the dreadful working conditions at its Bessemer warehouse. Amazon is leaving no stone unturned – including ads on Twitch – in its efforts to deceive and intimidate their employees into voting against the union.”
The union has been backed by actor Danny Glover and Georgia politician Stacey Abrams, who have encouraged employees to vote “yes.” The unionization struggle resulted after Amazon reportedly forced warehouse employees to work 10-hour overnight shifts, attempted to install surveillance cameras in its delivery vehicles, and was sued by the state of New York for allegedly endangering frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to the unionization vote, Amazon reportedly sent text messages to the warehouse’s 6,000 employees instructing them to place their ballots in a US Postal Service mailbox placed at the main entrance of the Bessemer plant. According to Motherboard, which saw the text message, the company advised employees to vote by March 1, even though they have until March 29 to cast their ballots.
In a pamphlet distributed by Amazon at the warehouse, the company urged employees to “save almost $500/year in dues” by avoiding union membership fees and warned workers that unions wouldn’t ensure greater job security or better wages. The Alabama unionization vote, which began on February 8, is expected to conclude on March 29.
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