WaPo Staffers Fighting for Better Wages Told to Sit Down, Shut Up, and Be Grateful for Jeff Bezos

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The narrative casting Jeff Bezos as a transformative media baron reached new heights in 2017. His Washington Post consistently set the political agenda while claiming two straight years of profitability. Bezos himself glowed on the red carpet as an improbable journalism hero when Steven Spielberg’s The Post, a fictionalized account of the newspaper’s publication of The Pentagon Papers, opened in December.

Bezos is worth $111 billion. He is the richest man in the world. But over the past eight months, his prized media outlet has repeatedly stymied requests for better pay and benefits from the employees who’ve driven its renaissance. The paper’s union, the Washington-Baltimore NewsGuild, remains locked in a tense contract dispute, union reps told Splinter, with management ceding little ground in negotiations over annual raises, improved retirement plans, and other workplace protections. Hanging over the talks is the question of how to pressure an owner whose purchase of the newspaper is widely credited for pulling it back from the brink.

“Many of the employees see Jeff Bezos as a savior to the company,” David DeJesus, a longtime advertising staffer who co-chairs the Post’s bargaining unit of about 880 editorial and business-side employees, told Splinter. “People are a little bit hesitant to be openly critical of him because of it.”

“‘You should be happy you have a job’ is what we’re hearing,” Kunkle added. “We’re almost perplexed at how intransigent the company has been.”  – READ MORE

It’s every morally bankrupt advertiser’s dream to have a microphone and camera in every American household.

With the advent of Amazon’s Alexa and other companies’ electronic assistants, people willingly bought and placed microphones in their home. These devices, when plugged in and hooked to the internet, are always on, and always listening for a command. Although the device is in many houses, a “dead” zone still remains in many people’s bedrooms.

Enter Amazon’s Echo Spot.

The devices themselves are incredibly vulnerable. Forbes reported a hack that allowed a third party to secretly listen in to every single conversation around the Amazon Alexa while still allowing for normal functions.

Commands outside the range audible to human ear are also used to manipulate the devices without the owner knowing. – READ MORE

Microsoft (MSFT) founder Bill Gates officially got the memo on Monday that he is no longer the richest person in the world. Amazon’s (AMZN) chief executive Jeff Bezos now holds the title, with a net worth of $105 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index.

But Bezos, who founded the e-commerce giant in his garage is the early 1990s, is not only the wealthiest individual in the world—he is one of the richest in history. According to multiple reports, John D. Rockefeller was the richest ever, with a net worth of an estimated $340 billion (inflation-adjusted) in 1937.

Bezos’ bump to the top spot happened Monday when his net worth added about $1.4 billion after Amazon’s stock rose 1.4%—Bezos owns nearly 80 million shares worth. Amazon shares were up another 1.44% in premarket trading on Tuesday. Overall in 2017, the company’s stock rose nearly 56%. – READ MORE

Jeff Bezos spends a lot of time directing the newspaper he owns, The Washington Post, to criticize President Donald Trump in every way imaginable. But for some reason, the federal government cannot stop giving Amazon — the retail empire Bezos also owns — a slew of taxpayer-subsidized subsidies. Now, Congress is considering a new federal purchasing plan that could result in Amazon’s most lucrative government handout yet.

Buried deep in this year’s defense spending bill is a provision that would move Defense Department purchases of commercial off-the-shelf products to online marketplaces.

But it also calls for this platform to be designed to “enable government-wide use of such marketplaces.” This means the government is looking only for a procurement and supply management firm big enough to offer multiple suppliers for the same product with constantly changing selection and prices and serve the entire U.S. government.

That leaves just one likely possibility  – Amazon Business – for basically monopoly control of $53 billion in federal purchasing, much of the supplies for which comes from no-bid contracts.

Amazon provides a platform for e-companies to sell through to their own customers. It receives 15 percent to 20 percent of the proceeds from such sales, which means a huge revenue stream for Amazon for doing basically nothing while vendors are forced to cough up as much as half their margin.

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