It is hard not to like Amazon for what it does, it is also hard not to use Amazon or see how the company has been growing and continues to grow over the years. Amazon is now the biggest office user in Seattle, is scheduled to increased its presence in the Washington, DC area and with its large distribution centers is a major employer in many cities. This is good for many people, however if you work in the distribution center you may or may not like working there. In the work of time motion activities, Amazon has it down to a a science.
In an article by Jeffery Dastin and Krystal Hu of Reuters, in 2021, there will be some votes at Amazon facilities to unionize or not. In the past, Amazon has been anti-union, not as bad as Wal-mart, but in that area. (Wal-mart and Amazon are America’s two largest private employers). People have tried to unionize at Amazon, but since 2014 and that result was a no, Amazon has no union.
One would thought the first union would come from a state that is more heavily unionized than others, but the first vote is coming from a fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama. At the moment, the average pay at the facility is $15.30 a hour plus health and retirement benefits (the minimum wage in Alabama is $7.25, which means the concern is something more than money). Other efforts to organize a union are in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin and Portland, Oregon.
Linking to dividend paying stocks, many dividend paying stocks have a union, most utilities have a unionized electrical workers. Unions do not mean the company will not make money, but it does mean a change management attitudes towards the lowest worker in the company. Whether a company organizes or not, it does not mean wages would go up because in Amazon’s case they pay greater than minimum wage and President elect Biden is going to working on a $15 minimum wage. Management can easily work with unions and still make profits which translates to dividends.
There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.