Will Amazon Prevent Employee Discussion of Ethics?

Some employers prefer that workers not unionize. Amazon is one of those. And they’re apparently kicking around an interesting tactic: promote an in-house messaging system for employees to use, but forbid the use of certain terms — terms like “union” and “representation” and “living wage.” In the piece linked below, Chris MacDonald (one of the Editors of BEH) discusses

“Will Amazon Ban Ethics?”

A new report from The Intercept suggests that a new in-house messaging app for Amazon employees could ban a long string of words, including “ethics.” Most of the words on the list are ones that a disgruntled employee would use — terms like “union” and “compensation” and “pay raise.” According to a leaked document reviewed by The Intercept, one feature of the messaging app (still in development) would be “An automatic word monitor would also block a variety of terms that could represent potential critiques of Amazon’s working conditions.” Amazon, of course, is not exactly a fan of unions, and has spent (again, per the Intercept) a lot of money on “anti-union consultants.”

So, what to say about this naughty list?

What do you think?


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