business news in context, analysis with attitude

Yesterday we took note of a CNBC report that "Amazon delivery drivers at one of the company’s California facilities joined the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the union said Monday, in a win for labor organizers that have long sought to gain a foothold at the e-retailer.

"A group of 84 workers at Amazon’s warehouse in Palmdale, California, won voluntary recognition by Battle-Tested Strategies, a third-party delivery contractor, to be represented by the Teamsters. That allows the workers and the Teamsters to sidestep the union election process, which can be challenging and last for many months … The story says that 'Battle-Tested Strategies is one of the legions of third-party delivery firms contracted by Amazon to shuttle packages to shoppers’ doorsteps'."

And I commented:

What's the over-under on how long it will take Amazon to decide to terminate its contract with Battle-Tested Strategies and replace it with another, non-unionized company?

If it is legally possible, the bet here is that Amazon will try to send a message to Battle-Tested Strategies and all the delivery firms it contracts with that unionization is to be opposed at all costs, not accepted.

Apparently, it is legally possible.

Business Insider reports that Amazon has terminated its contract with Battle Tested Strategies, and in fact had done so before the Teamsters deal was signed.

 Eileen Hards, an Amazon spokesperson, tells Business Insider that "this particular third party company had a track record of failing to perform and had been notified of its termination for poor performance well before today's announcement. This situation is more about an outside company trying to distract from their history of failing to meet their obligations."

KC's View:


No surprise here.  When Amazon sees that it has a diseased limb, it cuts it off.  Fast.  Decisively.  Without sentiment.


I find myself wondering if Amazon may have made the wrong enemy here.  I know nothing about Battle Tested Strategies (BTS), but I did check out their website, and found a bio of Jonathon Ervin, identified as the "principal" at the company:

Chief Master Sergeant Johnathon Ervin comes from humble beginnings being raised by his grandparents in Flint, Michigan. Yearning to see the world, Johnathon enlisted in the United States Air Force when he was 18 years old. He has spent the last 25 years in the Air Force and Air Force Reserve. This experience has given him a global perspective and sharpened his foreign relations, intelligence, and strategic military operations skills. 

On active duty, he was deployed to support overseas contingency operations supporting, Southern Watch, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Johnathon also served in South Korea, Australia, and various locations in the Middle East. During his military service, Johnathon earned an associate's degree in Electronics Systems Technology from Community College of the Air Force in 2000, and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Electronic Systems Technology from Wayland Baptist University in 2013. In 2018, Johnathon started a logistics company called Battle-Tested Strategies and joined Amazon’s Delivery Service Partner Program in 2019.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, he worked tirelessly to provide essential items and jobs to those in need. He calls his employees “Amazon Troops” and encourages them to see the value and need in their everyday duties, protecting and serving their communities. 

Johnathon’s achievements, awards and honors span two decades and include the Department of the Army Commander’s Award for Civilian Service, the Raytheon Achievement Award, Air Combat Command Test Team of the Year, and the Meritorious Service Medal. Johnathon lives in Lancaster, California with his wife, Cathy – an Air Force veteran herself – and their children. 

Just guessing here, but he may not submit to Amazon's executioners as quickly as they'd like him to.  We'll see.