Alarmed at the employees open criticism of workplace conditions, Amazon is reportedly adding a content filter to its internal messaging app that will block of flag words like “union”, “slave labor”, “grievance”, “living wage”, and even “restroom”.
The content filter would ban words that reflect the company’s working conditions or pertain to organizing a union, according to a report in The Intercept.
In addition to other inappropriate words, the internal app will also reportedly block or flag words like “unfair”, “master”, “slave”, “injustice”, “ethics”, “diversity”, “fairness”, “pay raise”, and phrases like “This is dumb” or “This is concerning”.
“Our teams are always thinking about new ways to help employees engage with each other,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge late on Monday. “This particular program has not been approved yet and may change significantly or even never launch at all. If it does launch at some point down the road, there are no plans for many of the words you’re calling out to be screened,” the spokesperson added.
The news about the internal messaging app came as the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) scored a historic victory last week to become the first-ever union to successfully organise Amazon employees. especially to raise issues like warehouse conditions, gender discrimination and pay disparity with the e-commerce giant.
Amazon is known for its “aversion to unions and its willingness to use union-busting tactics”.