business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  Reuters reports that Amazon "must face a proposed U.S. nationwide class action accusing the company of illegally monitoring private Facebook groups that delivery drivers used to discuss working conditions …  the lawsuit alleges that Amazon invaded drivers' privacy and engaged in illegal wiretapping by creating a 'social listening team' to monitor and intercept posts to private Facebook groups using automated tools."

Amazon had argued that the case had to go to arbitration rather than litigation because the driver who filed the original suit, Drickey Jackson, had signed an agreement mandating arbitration.  However, the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the agreement did not apply to this lawsuit because it did not related to his job performance.

According to Reuters, "The ruling means Jackson can continue seeking to represent a class of at least 800 Amazon drivers instead of pursuing his claims in individual arbitration."

Jackson, the story says, has "cited a leaked document purporting to show an internal social media monitoring list of 43 private Facebook groups that drivers ran in different cities.  He says Amazon used sophisticated digital tools to monitor the groups and gather information about planned strikes and protests, unionizing efforts, pay and benefits and whether researchers examining Amazon’s workforce had approached drivers."

Amazon has denied any wrongdoing.

I know you are innocent until proven guilty, but it sounds like Jackson may have the documents to prove his allegation.  It certainly sounds like something that Amazon could do;  it remains to be seen if it is something that it would do, or did do.

•  From CNBC:

"Two years ago, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos vowed to make the e-commerce giant 'Earth’s best employer' — and now, he might be one step closer to achieving that goal.

"Amazon is the No. 1 company to work for in the U.S., according to new research from LinkedIn.  For the third year in a row, Amazon has claimed the top spot on the networking platform’s annual Top Companies list, followed by Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase."

The story points out that companies that laid off more than a certain percentage of their workforce were not eligible to be on the list, and Amazon came in just under that percentage.  That said, I'll bet there are some 27,000 folks who might disagree with Amazon's topping the list.

•  Amazon has announced what it is calling "the Anti-Counterfeiting Exchange (ACX), an industry collaboration designed to make it safer to shop online and more difficult for counterfeiters to move among different stores to attempt to sell their counterfeit goods … ACX allows participating stores to share information about confirmed counterfeiters who attempted to use their services to try to sell counterfeit products. By sharing information about these counterfeiters, ACX participants can identify and stop perpetrators more quickly than they would in the absence of this collaborative data sharing. In accordance with industry standards and best practices, an independent third party provides anonymized access for participants to share and receive information."