Senators Sanders and Warren Demand Amazon Explain Its 'Potentially Illegal' Anti-Union Video

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Facing ongoing employee organization within its grocery subsidiary, Amazon distributed a 45-minute union-busting training video to Whole Foods managers last month, the contents of which were first reported by Gizmodo. Now, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are demanding answers from the company about the video, which they say “directs and encourages potentially illegal interference with the rights of thousands of workers.”

As we previously detailed, the video pulls no punches when describing Amazon’s stance on union activity or the lengths managers can go in expressing anti-union sentiment. “Opinions can be mild, like, ‘I’d rather work with associates directly,’” states the narrator, “or strong: ‘Unions are lying, cheating rats.’ The law protects both!”

The video was leaked to Gizmodo shortly before Amazon announced a wage floor adjustment of $15 an hour—the specifics of which remain vague. In their letter, Sanders and Warren laud Amazon for this pay bump, but note that “workers’ rights do not stop at the minimum wage, and raising the pay of your lowest-paid workers, while important, does not give you a free pass to engage in potentially illegal anti-union behavior.”


While initially reporting on the video, Gizmodo reached out to Amazon for comment repeatedly and was rebuffed, only receiving comment after publication of our story that accused us of “cherry picking” quotes from the training video. We asked the company to provide the full footage of the video, so that the anonymity of our source would be maintained. We received no reply. Now both senators are asking that Amazon, “provide the full video, and its written script, reported by Gizmodo on September 26, 2018" and as well as “any other materials distributed to Whole Foods ‘team leaders’ relevant to organizing activities, or ‘warning signs’ of such activities.”

Read the full letter below: