Labor-Organizing Threats= Terrorism?

Oct 20, 2020 by

“You’re known by the company you keep”. That tidbit of trite wisdom has defied and stood the test of time, not just because it’s stuck in our collective memory but because it’s true, like it or not.

Its damning concept of inclusion is held dear by Jeff Bezos who, not counting a few hundred folks since the debut on earth of the first humanoids who used stone tools, has more money than ten billion combined earners since the predawn of civilization.

Jeff Bezos is, of course, Mr. Amazon.

Mega-tycoons are the lowest wrung on the ladder of creative genius, but their entrepreneurial bag of tricks allows them to envision connections that either nobody else can see or don’t exist at all. 
 
Amazonian Bezos, for instance, links labor union organizers with terrorists and hate groups.  At least that is the logistical conclusion based on a job posting a few months ago.
 
It makes me wonder whose company Mr. Bezos is keeping?  If he did not authorize the posting, isn’t he responsible for it?  Doesn’t the “buck” stop with him, as have so many other bucks?
 
Amazon is in a perpetual recruitment drive for employees to serve in many capacities. One particularly exotic and intriguing job title was called “intelligence analyst”.  Successful applicants would not join an elite fighting force with a sinister mission on the battlefield of geopolitics.  But they would be commissioned for not entirely unrelated duties.
 
This clandestine team was to be charged with the critically sensitive surveillance operation of potential internal “labor organizing threats” lumped together with “terrorism” and “hate groups”.
 
The configuration of words in this advertisement suggests these categories are allied.  Maybe it was not Amazon’s intention.  Perhaps they were just being verbally imprecise and the linkage was sub-conscious, hasty and accidental.  Are we all not guilty of an honest intellectual lapse, a sleight of mental impulse or a false sense of philosophical affinity?
 
To be charitable, let’s credit Amazon with not calling outright for snitches or career assassins.  And for limiting the assignment to trailing and not whacking advocates of collective bargaining.
 
The job posting was retracted just before Labor Day.  No doubt a coincidence. The reason was not an attitudinal shift but rather the risk to the company’s bottom-line resulting from the outrage it ignited on social media. “Amazon Prime”, after all, refers to its primary priority of keeping it cash-bountiful.
 
This story is no longer fresh but its implications are not stale. What did we really miss by Amazon’s high-tailing it out of New York City after its recent commitment, flush with promises of obeisance to workers, to establish a second headquarters in Queens?
 
Amazon’s job posting conjures images of the documented practice among some corporations, of having SWAT teams descend upon workplaces swiftly after receiving tips from supervisors, employees, customers, or anonymous callers, alleging they overheard staffers plotting to organize a union.
 
The Amazon posting has been rescinded but the red flag cannot be lowered, because the lust to thwart unionization is alive, kicking and conniving.
 
Ron Isaac
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