Amazon Sends ‘Anti-Union’ Training Video to Whole Foods Team Leaders: Report
In the weeks following reports that Whole Foods employees have been pushing to unionize, a 45-minute training video leaked to Gizmodo shows Amazon taking steps to suppress workplace organizing, the site reported Wednesday. Amazon purchased the grocery chain for $13.7 billion last year.
Gizmodo reporter Bryan Menegus wrote that the video was sent to Whole Foods Team Leaders last week, and includes six sections wherein a narrator reportedly says the sections are “specifically designed to give you the tools that you need for success when it comes to labor organizing.” The narrator goes on to say, “We are not anti-union, but we are not neutral either,” according to the report.
Amazon has come under recent fire after multiple employees of the company said they had lost their homes, and added that workplace accidents left them unable to work or receive compensation.
According to Gizmodo, the video it received outlines various examples of potential workplace organizing—including the distribution of petitions or wearing union gear—and asks managers to listen to a number of scenarios to determine the “warning signs” of workplace organizing. Some of the examples reported by Gizmodo include workers loitering in a break room and workers complaining about wages.
Gizmodo said it would not release the video “in order to maintain source anonymity.” In a tweet on Wednesday, Menegus wrote, “‘Unions are lying, cheating rats’ is a wild sentence for Amazon to have included in their manager training video.”
An Amazon spokesperson told Fortune in a statement:
“We’re perplexed as to why Gizmodo takes issue with a company wanting to better engage its employees, train hundreds of managers to maintain an open and direct dialogue with associates, and create channels to drive innovation on behalf of the customer in a caring and inclusive environment. The reporter clearly cherry-picked soundbites from the video to meet his editorial objective and do not align with our view on how to create career opportunities for employees.
“In the U.S., the average hourly wage for a full-time associate in our fulfillment centers, including cash, stock, and incentive bonuses, is over $15/hour before overtime. That’s in addition to our full benefits package that includes health, vision and dental insurance, retirement, generous parental leave, and skills training for in-demand jobs through our Career Choice program, which has over 16,000 participants. We encourage anyone to come see for themselves by taking a tour at one of our fulfillment centers.”