Twitch.tv and parent company Amazon have come under fire after the retail giant ran anti-union advertisements on the popular streaming platform. The ads urged workers at an Amazon facility in Alabama to opt against unionization in an upcoming vote.
The ads were first brought into the spotlight by More Perfect Union, a nonprofit pro-labor media organization. Business Insider reported last month that more than 6,000 Amazon employees would soon vote for representation by the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union.
NEW: Amazon is running glossy anti-union ads to combat the organizing drive by workers at their Bessemer, AL, warehouse. An Alabama resident said this spot is one of several that Amazon is now running on Twitch. pic.twitter.com/6WlojetvzY— More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) February 23, 2021
Following backlash from streamers and viewers, Twitch removed the ads from their platform. A Twitch spokesperson told Business Insider that “Twitch does not allow political advertising, and these ads should never have been allowed to run on our service. We have removed these ads and are evaluating our review processes to ensure that similar content does not run in the future. We are grateful to our community for bringing this to our attention."
Twitch’s parent company Amazon has not publicly spoken about the situation following the removal of the ads. The voting period started on February 8 and will run through March 30. Should the pool of labor decide to vote in favor of unionization, they would become Amazon’s first employees under union representation.
The Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union, which filed the petition for unionization through the National Labor Relations Board, insisted the vote be handled by mail. Amazon had previously fought against voting-by-mail, insisting that the vote be held in-person at a parking lot adjacent to the facility and wanted to use the company's Distance Assistant and other company-owned equipment to conduct the election, according to the petition.
Chris Jarrard posted a new article, Twitch pulls Amazon anti-union ads following backlash from streamers
Which streamers actually stood up against Amazon, possibly risking their revenue stream? What was the actual backlash?