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Sending Amazon Workers A Unionizing Message ‘Is As Easy As Changing A Book Cover’

Published Sunday, October 20, 2019
by Sean Hollister/The Verge
Sending Amazon Workers A Unionizing Message ‘Is As Easy As Changing A Book Cover’

I haven’t read Mike Monteiro’s new book Ruined by Design, so I can’t say whether it’s any good - but let’s judge a book by its cover for a moment because this cover cleverly encourages Amazon workers to form a Labor Union.

Monteiro tells The Verge he realized he could change his self-published book’s cover as easily as uploading a new PDF and used it to add a new message to Amazon Workers they’ll presumably see as they print and package it for delivery.

It’s not clear whether the bait-and-switch will actually work or if any Amazon employees have been swayed.

While Monteiro says he’s sold more than 10,000 copies of the book so far, only 150 paperbacks have been printed since he changed the cover, which isn’t a lot of opportunities for it to catch the right person’s eye.

But Amazon now tells The Verge that there’s nothing wrong with this tactic - the cover doesn’t actually violate any of the company’s guidelines and Amazon won’t prevent authors from doing this.

Monteiro says he was working on some Union Organizing when he came up with the idea: “We were discussing how to get messages in front of people and I realized, ‘Oh, huh. I have this thing that Amazon Workers see every time a book gets ordered.  Let’s put a message there.’”

The Verge has been tracking Amazon Worker protests following the news that the company robotically tracks and terminates Workers who fail to meet quotas, some of whom skip bathroom breaks just to keep their jobs.

You can read some of those stories at the links below:

Amazon Workers In Sacramento Are Protesting The Company’s Strict Time-Off Rules

Amazon Workers In Minnesota Walk Out In Protest Over Part-Time Work

‘Beat The Machine:’ Amazon Warehouse Workers Strike To Protest Inhumane Conditions

How Amazon Automatically Tracks And Fires Warehouse Workers For ‘Productivity’

Amazon Warehouse Workers Skip Bathroom Breaks To Keep Their Jobs, Says Report

Amazon-Owned Whole Foods Is Cutting Medical Benefits For Part-Time Workers

To Directly Access This Labor News Story, Go To: www.theverge.com/2019/10/9/20907399/amazon-mike-monteiro-book-cover-labor-union-attention-workers

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