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Amazon Workers Defeat Union Effort in Alabama

Amazon beat back the most significant labor drive in its history on Friday, when a tally showed that workers at its giant warehouse in Alabama had voted decisively against forming a union.Workers cast 1,798 votes against a union, giving Amazon enough to emphatically defeat the effort. Ballots in favor of a union trailed at 738, less than 30 percent of the votes tallied, according to federal officials. The lopsided outcome at the 6,000-person warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., dealt a crushing blow to labor organizers, Democrats and their allies at a time when conditions have been ripe for unions to make advances.Amazon, …

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Amazon’s Clashes With Labor: Days of Conflict and Control

In recent weeks, a heated discussion about whether Amazon’s workers must urinate in bottles because they have no time to go to the bathroom — a level of control that few modern corporations would dare exercise — has raged on Twitter.“Amazon is reorganizing the very nature of retail work — something that traditionally is physically undemanding and has a large amount of downtime — into something more akin to a factory, which never lets up,” said Spencer Cox, a former Amazon worker who is writing his Ph.D. thesis at the University of Minnesota about how the company is transforming labor. “For …

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Contentious Union Vote at Amazon Heads to a Count

“Obviously, we want to win,” Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont said on Friday when he visited Alabama. “But I think a major point has already been proven. And that is that workers, even in the Deep South, are prepared to stand up and organize and fight for justice.”In Bessemer, Ala., a pro-union radio spot paid for by Black Lives Matter aired on a local R&B station, while every intersection around the warehouse has been crowded with signs. “Bama has your back! Vote union!” one read. The large building was draped in sky blue banners blaring “VOTE.” On Friday, …

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Organizing Gravediggers, Cereal Makers and, Maybe, Amazon Employees

A group of gravediggers in Columbus, Ohio, who just negotiated a 3 percent raise. The poultry plant that processes chicken nuggets for McDonald’s. The workers who make Cap’n Crunch in Iowa. The women’s shoe department at Saks Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union is not the largest labor union in the United States, but it may be one of the most eclectic. Its membership, totaling about 100,000 workers, seems to reach into every conceivable corner of the American economy, stretching from the cradle (they make Gerber baby food) to the grave (those cemetery workers …

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Sam’s Club C.E.O. on the Company’s High Sales and Low Wages

But one of the benefits I got in being on the finance side was a really thorough understanding of the profit and loss and balance sheet and how that all hangs together. It enabled me to take strategy and pull it apart and say: “Well, what are the objectives? And what are the prices we’ve put in place to be able to achieve those objectives?”What were the biggest changes you made in stores and in warehouses as a result of the pandemic?There was a lot of tactical decisions we had to make very early on: metering people …

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Amazon Labor Fight: Wages May Not Ward Off Union

“From Faurecia to Amazon, it’s a big pay difference,” said Mr. Richardson, who now makes $15.55.Heather Knox, an Amazon spokeswoman, said that workers in Bessemer were eligible for raises every six months and that they had received a $2-an-hour bonus during much of last spring. Full-time rank-and-file employees received $300 bonuses during the holiday season and $500 last June. The company also provides significant tuition reimbursement for employees who take classes in certain fields.Some workers at the Bessemer facility, which opened just as Covid-19 was bearing down last March, regard the pay as more than adequate, especially younger employees.“I …

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When Amazon Raises Its Minimum Wage, Local Companies Follow Suit

Many small-business owners do not welcome the pressure.Tad Mollnhauer, who runs two printing and shipping retail stores near Orlando, Fla., said entry-level workers typically earned about $10 to $12 an hour. But these days, anyone paying that rate risks losing workers to Amazon. (The state’s minimum wage is under $9 an hour but will rise to $10 this year under a referendum approved by voters in November. The minimum will rise a dollar a year after that, hitting $15 an hour in 2026.)Mr. Mollnhauer said it was hard for small companies like his to match Amazon’s pay.“Their network and their resources …

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Anime Is Booming. So Why Are Animators Living in Poverty?

Netflix has also gotten involved, announcing this month that it will team up with WIT Studio to provide financial support and training to young animators working on content for the studio. Under the program, 10 animators will receive around $1,400 a month for six months.But many of the smaller studios are barely scraping by and don’t have much room to increase wages, Mr. Chou said. “It’s a very low-margin business,” he said. “It’s a very labor-intensive business.” He added that the studios “that manage to adapt are the big ones, the ones that are public.”Not all studios …

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Is This the End of Tipping?

Though Ms. Van Duser was mortified, she said she knew she had to quietly sweep away the mess. She needed the tip.She said she used to make $150 to $300 during an eight-hour shift. In the spring and summer, she said she often made as little as $25. She has since left service work, because she did not feel safe with indoor dining, and has done some contract outreach work for One Fair Wage.In a recent national study of more than 1,600 workers, conducted by One Fair Wage and the Food Labor Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley, over three-quarters …

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Uber Drivers Are Entitled to Worker Benefits, a British Court Rules

The justices criticized the legal agreements that Uber requires drivers to sign before working that classifies them independent contractors. The court said Uber did not have the power to “determine for itself” whether or not worker protection laws apply to its drivers.Uber said it would send a survey to drivers to measure their views on the ruling and worker flexibility, to better gauge how to adjust their model to conform to the ruling. As the case plays out in the employment tribunal, Uber may rely on the appeal of gig work for some people — the ability to work as …

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