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  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , strike,   

    Amazon workers need consumers to support strike! 

    Amazon workers need consumers to support strike!

    Right now, Amazon is having its annual mid-year sale known as Prime Day. This year, the sales are taking place over two days with today being the last. Prime Day is only second to Black Friday in terms of purchases made online. Prime Day has gotten so huge that even other retailers are trying to get in on the action. Since this is one of Amazon’s busiest times of the year it should come as no surprise that Amazon workers are probably working extra hours and possibly even extra shifts to get all the merchandise delivered in a timely manner. However, a number of Amazon employees used Prime Day as an opportune time to protest working conditions in the Amazon fulfillment centers.

    Amazon employees from around the globe took to the picket lines to protest what they consider to be problematic working conditions. In Europe, many of Amazon’s employees are unionized but here in the US, they are not. That didn’t stop several Amazon employees from protesting in Shakopee, Minnesota. The protesters believe that they are expected to reach unobtainable production goals at the cost of their health and well being.

    If Amazon was to decrease the demands of their workers that would affect the overall shipping process. Instead of being able to receive a package in two days it might be four or five days instead. Would consumers who are already used to Amazon’s quick delivery be willing to give up such convenience? In order to really send a message to Amazon, the protesters would really need to get a rather large amount of Amazon’s consumers on their side. Without the support of consumers voting with their wallets, we might not see working conditions improve for Amazon fulfillment center employees. Short of government intervention, which seems unlikely at this point, consumer persuasion is probably the only way Amazon will change.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , strike,   

    Can Uber and Lyft survive strike? 

    Can Uber and Lyft survive strike?

    It appears that the gig economy is about to face a major milestone in its relatively short history. While some cities and taxi unions have opposed the invasion of ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft, now it’s the ridesharing drivers themselves that are fighting back against the companies. On May 8th, Uber is set to issue its IPO. Some estimates put Uber’s valuation at between $80 billion and $90 billion. Meanwhile, many of their drivers earn less than minimum wage and plan to do something about it.

    On the same day that Uber goes public many Lyft and Uber drivers plan to go on strike for 24 hours in eight cities. Those cities are Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. These are all major cities that depend a lot on not only public transportation but also ridesharing services. Even just for one day, the strike has the potential to put a very inconvenient dent in a lot of people’s commute. This could get a lot of support for Uber and Lyft drivers.

    The drivers are demanding

    • higher wages
    • clearer policies on wages, tips, how fares are shared and disciplinary action
    • employee benefits such as health care, disability payments and holiday pay
    • recognition and representation for drivers in Uber’s management structure

    It will be interesting to see how Uber and Lyft react not only to the announcement of the strike but the strike itself. One of the problems with the current economy is that employees in most industries have fewer protections than there have been in the past. This makes the gig economy attractive to many looking to supplement their current income. That means that there are scores of people looking to replace the striking Uber and Lyft drivers if those companies decide to retaliate. While it would be a major PR disaster for those companies, they’ve become such a convenience that it may blow over.

     
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