- A self-published author selling his book on Amazon added a message to its cover urging Amazon workers to unionize.
- The author says he has effectively tricked Amazon into printing and distributing union materials to its own employees.
- Every time someone orders the book, an Amazon worker will pull it from a shelf and package it, potentially reading the pro-union message.
- The effectiveness of this strategy remains to be seen — it's been reported that Amazon workers typically spend about a minute total pulling and packaging an order before moving onto the next one.
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Mike Monteiro believes Amazon workers should unionize. Last week, the self-published author realized he could get Amazon to print and distribute unionization materials to its own workers — all he had to do was print them on the front of his book.
Monteiro's book, Ruined by Design, is for sale on Amazon, which provides a platform for authors to easily self-publish books by printing as many copies as users order online.
—Mike Monteiro (@monteiro) October 4, 2019
After first publishing the book in March, Monteiro realized he could change his book cover by uploading a new PDF, he told The Verge.
"ATTENTION AMAZON WORKERS: You have the right to decent working conditions. You have the right to bargain collectively. You have the right to form a union," the new message on the book's cover reads, followed by a link to the AFL-CIO's site.
Monteiro suspects that Amazon will take action to remove the cover soon. However, the cover had to be approved by an Amazon quality assurance check before being finalized, he told The Verge. An Amazon spokesperson was not immediately available to comment.
Amazon workers have repeatedly protested the working conditions in the company's shipping warehouses, where workers have reportedly been pushed to forego bathroom breaks and work to the point of exhaustion. Employees across the globe protested Amazon's refusal to recognize unionization efforts during Prime Day this summer.
The effectiveness of Monteiro's strategy, however, remains to be seen. Aside from the question of how many people will actually order the book, it's been reported that Amazon warehouse workers typically spend around a minute total pulling and packaging an order before moving onto the next one.