Thursday, May 30, 2024

A few who wish Coronavirus pandemic never ends and goes on and on’¦.

Coronavirus pandemic might be bad news for the world but there are a few who wouldn’t like it to end anytime soon.

Amazon, and its owner Jeff Bezos, are raking in profits to the extent that its value for shareholders has ballooned to nearly $500 billion on top of the riches which were already overflowing its coffers. It’s combined value now sits at a neat $1.4 trillion.

It’s another matter though that its workers don’t share its joy, or profits and are more vulnerable than ever. At least in the United States.

People with white collared jobs are sent back to home, making the productivity targets even more difficult for people working at warehouses. The warehouse workers still get $15 an hour and such is the increased workload, due to raining orders, that they can’t even get a break to wash hands without a mark on their record. In May, Amazon ended the unpaid leave policy for those who showed Covid-19 symptoms and stayed back home. Damningly, it has fired the warehouse workers in the United States who have feared coming to work due to the pandemic.

It’s easy for Amazon to do so in the United States where Amazon workers have no union and have no-one else to fall back upon. There is no right to paid sick leave and of course there is no protection from unfair dismissal.

Its different in Spain, Italy, France and Germany where the Amazon workers have union to take up their causes. Even when the employers are cold, there are courts and regulatory interventions to take care of their concerns. And if nothing happens, they of course could resort to strikes.

In France, Unions brought a civil case against Amazon for inadequate steps to protect workers from the pandemic. Its petition included the allegation that Amazon had sidestepped the unions’ statutory role. The court ordered Amazon to pay heed or it could face harsh penalties unless it worked out a safety agreement with the unions.

Amazon responded by closing its French operations. But the appellate court would’ve none of it. Amazon was forced to negotiate a settlement including mandatory union consultation over safety measures.

It’s not just Amazon. The need in the United States presently is to guard countless workers against the Big Techs in general. Amazon sticks out because its workers are in frontline on the field. Not to say that it is making extraordinary profits.

Big Techs which make billion of dollars in profits should be ready to share a part of it with the workers. If nothing else, at least be alive to their concern and fears on Coronavirus pandemic. This is the least they could do. Or else, the United States must allow Unions of workers to have its say in the matter.

Remember: A leader is far better than a boss! In this situation, they must consider the voice of their workers rather than prioritizing the profits. After all, the world becomes a better place when these big techs come forward to bring the country out of the crisis.

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