Amazon's next big adversary is its own workers (The Daily Charge, 10/17/2019)
The Daily Charge
Today on The Daily Charge, subscribers bounce back and Netflix is flying high on the success of Stranger Things 3. Setting a new watch time record.
And Amazon workers unite to slam the company over warehouse conditions, climate change and more.
Today is Thursday, October 17th.
I'm Joan E Solsman.
And I'm Ben Fox Rubin.
And here are today's top stories.
[SOUND] Amazon workers are agitating and organizing to express more and more gripes against their giant overlord employer.
Ben, what kind of things are Amazon employees fed up with and what are they doing about it?
Okay, so there are so many, there are so many things.
There are at least seven different Employee activist groups that I found.
Four of them are local warehouse worker groups.
One of them is called Whole Worker, which is whole foods.
Workers that are trying to unionize, and other one is called We Won't Build It, which is against they most on working with, Ice, and yet another one.
This is one of the largest and most organized is a climate change organization called Amazon Employees for Climate Justice.
So there's a lot, and they're really focused on a lot of different things.
So it sounds like some of them Want to unionize other things aren't quite as much labor related collective bargaining sort of things.
How does it all fall on the spectrum?
And how is Amazon reacting to all this activism?
So those aree great questions.
Amazon's response seems to be that, to a certain extent, they are actually Responding and they are trying to make some small changes like for instance there was protest in [UNKNOWN] There were a bunch of folks that got really fed up that there wasn't enough parking Like on site parking, specifically at that warehouse.
And so they protested, they did a walk out and they actually got management to specifically say, hey we're gonna try to do something about this.
That's a really small example, but at the same time, it's actually helping create this snowball effect where folks are standing up, putting their voice out there.
They're putting their names out there and saying specifically, hey we want to make these changes.
It's really sparking some other activism and other areas.
So,>>Yeah>> Amazon seems to be responding in some areas and other [CROSSTALK]
What about the most like senior cuz some of these things some of this activism is around some intrinsic elements to Amazon and its business are the is there like response from, Higher, like the highest level of the company.
I mean, that can be debatable.
So you saw Jeff Bezos had an event in DC where he talked about this huge effort, this really ambitious plan to really try to make Amazon carbon neutral by 2040.
Right and the Amazon employees for climate justice really, you know, Kind of promoted this inside like, Hey, this is this is really great.
we've really tried to force this action really, really quickly.
However, they said that they were still going to do a big protest literally the next day.
And they're trying to push Amazon to do certain things that Bezos said he doesn't want to do.
So for instance, they want them to cut off ties with oil and gas companies.
Bezos said, look, we wanna provide the best technologies for those types of companies.
And so far as we won't build it, the anti ice group, Bezos has said, and other folks have said We want to work with government agencies across the board.
So in certain aspects, they've been very clear about the fact that like, Hey, we're not going to cut off ties with these certain businesses.
Whether it's From philosophical standpoint or a financial standpoint I mean you decide why they don't want to do those things.
And quickly how does this fit in so what's happening more broadly?
Yeah so it's actually interesting that a good economy is causing a lot more employee activism, a lot of,
Employees, like the folks at GM that had just been striking, have noticed that their companies are doing really well.
They see those quarterly earnings from reports.
And they're wondering why their paychecks aren't getting any fatter.
Or there not increasing as much as they would hope.
So, Interestingly enough, I talked to a management professor at UConn that said that usually during a recession or during down times, employees tend to be a little bit quieter because they're worried about layoffs.
But in general with these types of situations, they're like hey guys, you guys are doing great management's doing great.
Why aren't we seeing this too?
>Why aren't we seeing our piece of the pie?
Next up Stranger Things saved Netflix.
Not exactly but Stranger Things is the company's most watched series at least according to the highly selective sharing pics stats that Netflix very strategically drops every once in a while, Stranger things will stream by 64 million Netflix accounts in the last month.
Month under like not in the last month but in its first month.
So the first four weeks that it was released.
And I help Netflixer cover from some subscriber growth problems they had in the US, they report it six months ago.
So what do you think?
Sorry, you ask me some questions.
I want to ask you what you think.
What do you think?
Yeah, what do you think?
First of all, 64 million.
What's interesting from reading your story, is that it's really hard to do comparisons.
Because you can't compare to Nielsen ratings.
You can't compare to box office ratings.
So 64 four million a light,
Like, is it way more than Birdbox.
I feel like that was one of the first ones that came out.
Birdbox had 80 million account stream within the first month, but I think what's notable, so they have two other things.
I think it's only been two other, Titles that have been more watched in that first month that first four week time period.
It was a bird box and then Adam Sandler Jennifer Aniston me
I don't sound like he's getting he goes gangbusters on Netflix people
All respect to Adam Sandler but I don't understand why people still watch those.
It's very pleasant.
But the point is what I'll give it up.
I'll give it up to Stranger Things in that those two titles that had more viewing.
Those are movies that get a lot of promotion.
It's easier to get people into something when it hasn't.
On bit of third season of a show.
Generally speaking, the first season of a show is always when if it's going to be the most popular.
It's usually in the first season maybe the second.
But after the second season you start to see a windup.
people have already decided whether they are into it or not.
It's not usually something that gains a momentum.
Once you start getting to the third fourth season.
So that shows the continued strength of-
One other element that I thought was interesting was Reed Hastings sometime this year specifically said that, the streaming war that's expected.
To really kick off later this year into next year.
Is going to be trendy.
It's gonna really spark even more cord cutting and this is actually good for the company.
Obviously that's self serving from his perspective, because this means that like, we're seeing a lot more competition and that's why it's a good thing.
It also kind of made me think of Trump's quote about trade wars.
God, I [CROSSTALK] seen the video.
He was like trade wars are good and easy to win.
I would not compare-
So it was like a similar thing.
I'm not gonna touch that, cuz I don't really know the logic going on in trade wars.
But, yeah, [INAUDIBLE] and it can be true, like There's some validity to it in that he says that all this competition about streaming services like Apple TV+ is launching on November first.
Disney Plus is the big kahuna.
It's going to be launching on November 12.
There's a lot of attention to those other services that are coming early next year.
And so his point is that look, right now, yes, they're going to be competing for other They're gonna be competing against us for subscribers, but really, they think that they're gonna be getting people to think I don't need cable anymore.
That's where they think that they're think that that that all this discussion around streaming and how it can be a viable option for you and to serve all your entertainment needs means that people won't, the thing will be letting go won't be necessarily the like $16 to $11 Netflix account.
It'll be the like $90 to $160 cable subscription.
Yeah, so the phi could potentially grow we'll see.
You'll find out.
We'll see yeah.
I think they're gonna be excited.
They extend on the call last night all the extensions were like we're getting really glad when this things launch so we don't have to keep talking about them.
That is true you know.
And I know that will be the actual case we'll find out.
For the Daily Charge I'm Joni Salsman.
I'm Ben Fox Ruben.
Thanks for joining us.
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