business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  From Bloomberg:

"A union representing workers at an Amazon.com Inc. warehouse in Coventry, England withdrew its bid for official recognition and accused the tech giant of thwarting the unionization effort with 'dirty tricks.'

"The GMB union believed that its 800-strong membership at the facility was enough to meet the 50% threshold required to be recognized without a ballot, senior organizer Stuart Richards said in a statement. Amazon stated in December that there were 1,400 workers employees at the warehouse, Reuters reported.

"After GMB submitted a formal application for union recognition on behalf of its members to the Central Arbitration Committee in May, the US tech giant declared there were 2,700 workers at the facility and the claim was accepted by the CAC.

"The union said Amazon launched a recruitment drive that inflated headcount at the warehouse to counter the effort to organize."

Bloomberg reports that "In a statement, Amazon said it respects employees’ right to join a union. 'We regularly recruit new team members, across the country and across the year, providing great new career opportunities for thousands of people and to meet customer demand,' the company said. 'This year is no different'."

I have no idea if this is legal, and I'm willing to concede that this may fall into the category of "dirty tricks."  But I also have to admit that it is kind of clever - if you don't like the way the math works out, change the equation.


•  Axios reports that "Uber is launching a peer-to-peer car-sharing service that will allow people to earn money by loaning their car to strangers while they're not using it."

The program, called Uber Carshare, "will launch soon in North America, starting in Boston and Toronto … Car owners can set their own daily and hourly pricing, and availability will be listed in 15-minute increments, with no requirements for advance booking.  Fuel is included in the cost, and insurance options are available from Uber."

I can appreciate that Uber is looking for ways to diversify its business model, but for those of us who have emotional attachments to our cars, this just isn't an idea that will fly.