pic joe allen 150x150Amazon, the retail behemoth, is named after the giant river in South America. The company began in the Seattle area in 1994. Since then it has not just grown and expanded but has transformed marketing. Consumers are attracted to lower prices, but overwhelmingly it’s the sheer convenience of online shopping and home delivery. But all is not rosy for Amazon’s hundreds of thousands of workers. They are pushing back, demanding better wages, working conditions and benefits. Again, as we see elsewhere in the corporate world, the lack of a union to back up worker needs is glaring. Labor organizing is difficult, and management likes it that way. Some politicians are saying Amazon is too big and too powerful and needs to be either broken up or more carefully regulated.

Joe Allen is a Chicago-based writer and activist in peace and social justice movements.

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