My trade union is engaged in a long term fight against Amazon for half-way tolerable pay and working conditions in its distribution centres in Germany. Basic stuff like trade union representation or even a works council, reasonable breaks, being paid for the time spent while standing in line for security checks. Compliance with local labour law. Some degree of respect for workers from the management. etc.
We are trying to extend this fight internationally and have had some initial success.
But it would help all those who are not uncritical admirers of totalitarian hyper-capitalism knew a thing or two about Amazon’s business strategy and role in the great cancer. Matthew Stoller’s piece here has a good brief summary of just how and why this electronic trading monopolist has become so powerful.
Firstly, this isn’t an electronic retailer any more. (Amazon CEO Jeff) Bezos’ ambitions are much wider – he is constructing a monopolist trading empire, something like a global East India Company. Amazon itself says that it competes in the following sectors:
physical-world retailers, publishers, vendors, distributors, manufacturers, and producers of our products, other online e-commerce and mobile e-commerce sites, including sites that sell or distribute digital content, media companies, web portals, comparison shopping websites, and web search engines, either directly or in collaboration with other retailers, companies that provide e-commerce services, including website development, fulfillment, customer service, and payment processing, companies that provide information storage or computing services or products, including infrastructure and other web services, companies that design, manufacture, market, or sell consumer electronics, telecommunication, and electronic devices.
Amazon is hardly taxed because all its profits are Read the rest of this entry »