Labor Commodity, Negotiate

When all the rhetoric is cleared away, every Amazon employee should understand the basic foundation of her relationship with the company. Amazon wants to get the most labor out of her as it can, while paying her the least amount of money it can. This is Amazon’s labor relations one basic principle.

Given this knowledge, there is no reason why every employee would not want to get as much pay for her labor as she can–negotiate a higher pay in the same way Amazon negotiates for everything it buys or sells with every vendor. One employee negotiating is laughable, an unhappy joke. But, by law, the company has to negotiate with an organized group of employees (a union of employees), and, by law, the current wage is the starting point of these negotiations. It can’t go lower.

There is nothing impolite about asking for more money. Amazon is a business, and an employee’s family is a business.

It is obvious from its practices that Amazon is not an employee’s friend, does not want to be an employee’s friend, but stands to profit by giving that impression. Having a friendly relationship with an employer is great. I’ve had that before, but I believe Amazon is about the last place on Earth for that to happen. In fact, Amazon is very open about its use of data–that each employee is a number–a data point. The employer-employee relationship is a business relationship based on performance, and that is all. The employer and the employee have the prerogative to negotiate the best terms for this relationship. Amazon already does this–its goal is to achieve the most production from employees for the least cost with few other considerations, and it does this using a variety of strategies that I have outlined, and surely some I have missed. The employee, however, within the current system of labor relations practiced by Amazon, does not speak, doesn’t engage, she can take it or leave it, and that is about it. Most leave it after a short time. Others stay, until, they too, have had enough. It is entirely within their power to implement new terms to their employment that are more edifying to themselves and their families.