March 12, 2013 at 7:30 AM
Amazon and German activists dispute on labor
Seattle’s progressivism may not be global
The recent protest that took place in South Lake Union at the headquarters of Amazon.com should serve as a reminder to us all that Seattle may not be as “progressive” as we like to believe. Protesting Amazon’s refusal to negotiate a union-wage contract with its currently nonunion workforce in Germany, the protesters implicated Amazon of less-than-standard working conditions in its Germany-based warehouses [“Battle escalates between Amazon, German labor,” Business, March 5].
While the particulars of the working conditions are presented in different lights from different sides of the story, the bigger picture to focus on is the mere possibility that the economic upswing we feel here as Amazon maximizes its bottom line, could in fact be perpetuating the exact opposite effect across the globe.
Seattleites are quite progressive on a micro scale — as can be seen by the careful consideration and pride we put into deciding whether to recycle this or compost that. But do we truly stop and think how our regional businesses, companies that many of us (or our family members and friends) may work for, significantly impact, for better or worse, the lives of others around the world?
–Jessica Muhm, Seattle
Trending with readers