Twitch / Wikimedia

Twitch ran anti-union ads made by parent company Amazon

Amazon took its union-busting to a whole new level.

The massive online retailer ran a series of anti-union advertisements on Twitch. This was the latest step in a series of moves to block workers in an Alabama warehouse from organizing. Videos of the ads were saved and shared by More Perfect Union.

The series of commercials seemingly shows a number of Amazon workers discussing how much they enjoy working for the company. It is not confirmed whether the people shown are actual Amazon workers. The ads ran for just a short time before being halted, but this was a major departure from the norm for Twitch.

Amazon has been making an aggressive effort to stop workers from a warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama from forming a union, which would be a first in the company. Amazon has been bombarding workers with anti-union propaganda, even plastering posters discouraging labor organizing in the warehouse's bathroom stalls.

The push to unionize comes after years of stories regarding Amazon’s poor labor practices around the globe. As early as 2011, warehouse workers claimed they were forced to work in extreme heat, with employees being ambulanced off the premises being a regular occurrence. In 2020, Amazon sparked backlash even within its own boardroom when it began firing workers who previously went public over health-related concerns, and was criticized by human rights advocacy groups for the treatment of its workers.

Despite these stories, the Twitch advertisements come alongside a media blitz by Amazon to package the company as pro-labor. The company has been running ads in a slew of prominent publications including the Wall Street Journal and New York Times to highlight the $15 per hour minimum it pays its workers.

Is Twitch owned by Amazon?

Twitch was purchased by Amazon for $970 million in 2014 in an all-cash deal and is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the online retailer. This was preceded an attempted buyout by Google, which was nixed due to potential antitrust concerns.

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