Amazon caught red-handed hiring anti-labor spies

You too can become a hired goon

On September 1, Amazon’s job listings brazenly featured job descriptions for “Intelligence Analyst” positions that telegraphed a clear intent to ramp up the firm’s worker suppression efforts. Amazon has since yanked the postings as “an error” - technically true in the sense that it was a public relations error – but not before a strong round of media coverage from multiple news outlets, and not before screenshots of the descriptions were grabbed and made public by reign-in-Amazon coalition Athena.

The job listings include roles such as contributing to “restraining orders against activists groups”, a corporate attack mode that may be based in part on recent protests led by Christian Smalls, a former Amazon warehouse worker who was fired in retaliation for his pro-worker efforts, and who has been touring the country leading street protests outside of Jeff Bezos’ various multi-million-dollar mansions.

We should be clear here about the reality. Amazon is still going to fill these positions, they’ll just do it quietly through a third-party staffing agency. Giant corporations paying for staff and contract support to attack labor organizing also isn’t an outlier, and it isn’t new – it has a long, long history that dates back to the early days of organized labor, and it’s already in place at Google.

Here are two of the stories published about the Amazon anti-worker job postings:

https://www.vice.com/amp/en_us/article/qj4aqw/amazon-hiring-intelligence-analyst-to-track-labor-organizing-threats
Amazon Is Hiring an Intelligence Analyst to Track 'Labor Organizing Threats'

https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2020-09-01/amazon-posts-then-deletes-job-posting-to-research-union-threats
Amazon Posts, Then Pulls Job Listing to Probe Union Threats

I’ll post extracts from a third article, published at Gizmodo, below.

(Trivia: the subtitle of this post on Substack is a reference to the classic Simpsons episode, “Last Exit to Springfield”, in which Homer becomes head of the union and is abducted by anti-labor hired goons.)

- Bruce

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https://gizmodo.com/amazon-is-openly-hiring-union-busters-1844915465
Amazon Is Openly Hiring Union-Busters

Two open positions on the company’s job board—Intelligence Analyst and Senior Intelligence Analyst—contain some incredibly startling lines in the description of their roles (emphasis ours throughout):

Analysts must be capable of engaging and informing L7+ ER Principals (attorney stakeholders) on sensitive topics that are highly confidential, including labor organizing threats against the company, establish and track funding and activities connected to corporate campaigns (internal and external) against Amazon, and provide sophisticated analysis on these topics

The listings, which seem to have been first spotted by Twitter user Joe Slowik, are explicitly calling for someone to help break up organizing efforts, seemingly from existing unions attempting to get a toehold in Amazon’s empire, as well as grassroots employee activism…

… you already know it gets worse:

Individual analysts will work directly with Sr. Corporate Counsel to compile and provide assessments for use in court filings, up to and including restraining orders against activist groups; intelligence assessments are used by Legal to demonstrate to court of law that activist groups harbor intent for continued illegal activity vis-à-vis Amazon

… as a practice, restraining entire groups from engaging in protest appears to be quite rare and a brazen corporate assault on the constitutional right to free assembly. But the spirit of democracy isn’t something that can be shipped inside a cardboard box, so it largely isn’t the concern of Amazon—which is perhaps why the job description also hints at developing opposition research on politicians that don’t want to pay out the nose in subsidies just to get a warehouse or data center...

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