It looks as though there’s some dissent in Bezos’ ranks.
Streaming website Twitch has pulled Amazon’s anti-union ads from running on its service not long after they began running. For the record, Twitch is owned by Amazon.
According to More Perfect Union, the bright, talking head-style ads appeared in Twitch streams in Alabama — a state where several thousand Amazon workers are currently voting on whether to unionise. Featuring ostensible Amazon employees, the ads impressed on viewers that unions are bad and wrong, claiming that “they just take your money and they don’t do anything for you.” Apparently Amazon’s workers already “have everything [they] need” and should never ask for anything better.
The ads received notable backlash from Twitch’s streaming community before they were taken down.
However, as pro-worker as Twitch’s move seemed on the face of it, it is sadly not being claimed as a deliberate attempt at sticking it to the Man. In a statement to reporter Rod Breslau, Twitch said that Amazon’s ads were simply removed because they violated its policy against political advertising.
“[T]hese ads should never have been allowed to run on our service,” said Twitch. “We have removed these ads and are evaluating our review processes to ensure that similar content does not run in the future.”
So not quite the rebellious-child situation initially envisaged, but it still worked out in the end.
Mashable has reached out to Twitch and Amazon for comment.
Amazon has a long, aggressive history of trying to , but has recently amidst the historic vote at its Bessemer, Alabama warehouse. Around 5,800 warehouse workers are voting on whether to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, with ballots to be mailed by March 29. If the majority vote yes, the Bessemer plant will be come .
Predictably, Amazon isn’t a fan of the idea, and Twitch’s video ads aren’t the only medium it’s been using to spread its anti-union sentiments. The company has also repeatedly texted anti-union messages to its workers, posted anti-union flyers in its warehouse bathrooms, held mandatory anti-union meetings, and distributed pamphlets instructing its workers to vote against unionising. It further instructed workers at its Bessemer warehouse to drop their ballots in a brand new mailbox that appeared near the facility’s entrance, making workers feel surveilled.
An Amazon spokesperson told Motherboard the mailbox was simply installed “for the convenience of [its] employees.”