geert lovink on 10 Feb 2001 09:03:56 -0000

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<nettime> More on Amazon - Call for Support

Below three emails from Day2/WashTech, the union attempting to orginize
Amazon - those Seattle workers who were first hired - and first fired,
including a sample letter you can send to Amazon.   (geert)

For more information:


Dear Day2/WashTech Supporter,

We are Customer Service employees in Seattle who have been
working to organize a union called Day 2 - affiliated with
WashTech/CWA.  As you may have heard, the majority of us were informed
on Tuesday, January 30, that the Seattle customer service center will be
closing in May and that our jobs will cease to exist.

We want to make it clear that Day 2 is not finished organizing.
Specifically, we are concerned by a "Separation Agreement and General
Release" contract that we have been required to sign in exchange for an
"Enhanced Severance Package" when we leave in May.  If we don't sign
this agreement by February 9, 2001, we will receive a drastically
reduced package.

While Amazon has removed a non-disparagement clause from the contract,
there are several other points of concern in this separation agreement
regarding basic workers' rights and the right to organize.  Certain
sections are also in violation of the National Labor Relations Act

We are asking as many people as possible to send an email to including either the message below or a modified
version of it.

Lastly, we want to thank you for your amazing support during this union
drive.  Your words of encouragement have been invaluable in keeping our
spirits up and strengthening our resolve in the face of an anti-union
campaign on the part of Amazon management.

Thank you for your continued support,


***Sample Letter***

Dear Amazon,

It has come to my attention that you are asking your laid-off customer
service employees to sign a "Separation Agreement and General Release"
by February 9, 2001, as a condition of receiving their full severance

While Amazon has removed a non-disparagement clause from the contract,
there are several other points of concern in this separation agreement
regarding basic workers' rights and the right to organize.

Particularly, sections of this contract restrict these employees' right
to file any existing and future claims against the company.  Rrequiring
these workers to sign this contract before their end date is illegal as
it violates subsections 8 (a)(1), (4) and (5) of the National Labor
Relations Act.   Amazon should not force laid off workers to choose
between their severance package and their rights.


Dear Day2 - WashTech/CWA Supporter,

We have won a small but very significant victory today!  Yesterday we
wrote you and asked that you email about the "separation
agreements" that laid off employees were asked to sign by this Friday,
February 9.  Due to your numerous letters to the company and our
internal organizing efforts, has decided to extend our
deadline to the last day of our employment.

While we still have concerns about this agreement, we are pleased that
so many people have shown their support through letters and e-mails.  We
are continuing to organize around specific clauses of the agreement -
particularly those that require that we give up our rights in exchange
for the severance package we deserve.  We encourage everyone to continue
to watch our efforts at .

Thanks to continued support from CWA and WashTech, we continue to build
power for ourselves through Day 2.  Please check out the statement we
are releasing about this victory below...

In solidarity,

The Day 2 Organizing Committee


Day 2 Statement on Extending the Deadline

Earlier today, announced that they would no longer be
requiring laid-off Customer Service employees here in Seattle to return
their signed Separation Agreement by February 9.  We now have until our
date of termination, either May 4 or May 25, to sign and return this
document. Needless to say, we feel that this is a step in the right
direction, won by our continued and organized efforts. We are all
breathing a collective sigh of relief. We are no longer being pressured
into choosing between our rights and our full severance package with
such short notice.

We would like to thank for their continued good will and
willingness to listen to our concerns.  Nonetheless, we do have
additional concerns, which we hope will be addressed:

1)  Many employees have already signed and returned their Separation
Agreements.  Although has stated that they will return the
signed agreements to any employees who request that they do so, we feel
that, as this announcement came so close to the now nullified deadline, should return *all* previously signed agreements to its
employees.  This will give all laid-off employees the chance to continue
to seek legal counsel before returning the agreement, regardless of
whether they have already returned the agreement.

2)  In said Separation Agreement, there are still two clauses that would
require us to eliminate our rights.  These are clauses #10 and 11, the
General Representation General Release by employee clauses, which ask us
to sign away our rights to pursue action against the company for legal
or compensatory reasons.  We ask that these clauses be removed entirely.

3)  We would still like to request that make the enhanced
severance package available to any laid-off employee who chooses to
leave their employ before their official date of termination.

Upon consideration of these three demands, we ask management
to rescind the separation agreement all-together and to simply provide
us with the Enhanced Severance Packages in respect of our dedication and
service to the company.

Again, we do appreciate the company's willingness to work with its
employees in these trying times, and look forward to continued good will
between and its laid-off employees.

Jeremy Puma
Amazon Laid Off CS Employee

Febrary 8, 2001


(Seattle, WA) will give laid off hourly customer service workers
until May to decide if they want to sign a controversial separation
agreement in
exchange for an Enhanced Severance Package of 10 weeks additional pay plus
$500.   While the company had originally given laid-off workers, who will
continue to work at the company through May, a deadline of Friday, February
9, to sign the agreement, the company announced in a department wide e-mail
today that the deadline has been extended to the employees' termination
The announcement comes two days after 50 customer service employees in
Seattle staged a 15-minute walkout protesting the companys layoffs and the
separation agreement.

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