Lets talk about the big Amazon labor story. No, the other one.
We want to tell you about another podcast that you might enjoy called worklife with adam grant. Adam is an organizational psychologist who takes listeners. Inside the minds of some of the world's most unusual professionals discover the keys to a better work-life on season for learn how to rethink about decision how to prevent a recession from ruining your career and how to handle conflict at work. Checkout worklife with adam grant wherever you get your podcasts. Okay good. Because i was not prepared unlike megan. Who's way more prepared at than me. That is never. Oh hi. i'm kimberly adams and welcome back to make me smart where we try to make today make sense as you can probably guess high and molly are out on their well-deserved vacations so joining me today. On the show is marketplace's megan mccarthy carino. Thanks for being here so excited to hang out with you a little bit this week. I know we should totally have cocktails but save that for friday. So we're going to do a little news fix a make me smile and then we're going to call it a day and megan. I think you should go first with your news. Fix okay thank you. Everyone has their eyes on on amazon this week and today the votes are are done for this union election in bessemer alabama at the warehouse in bessemer alabama but there was actually another amazon labor story. That happened today. That's kind of related to it. And so i wanted to talk about that. The vote ended. Today they're gonna start. counting tomorrow. Could take several days to to know the outcome But today i saw that. The national labor relations board found that amazon illegally fired two activists workers and i had to kind of dig into this a little bit further. Because i was like wait. Which which workers that were activists that amazon fire because there's literally band i think. More than a dozen have filed complaints with the national labor relations board in the last year. And so there have been a number of folks who have spoken out about where how safety and You know just so many so many issues that have been fired and have claimed. That amazon retaliated against them. So these are actually gonna you know. White collar tech workers that were fired for speaking out about climate change. Which was the big deal. That was the subject of the amazon. Walk out if you remember way back in twenty. Nineteen this happened. No this way. I remember you know. I was doing a lot of reporting as the workplace culture reporter on tech activism. This was the huge thing. Amazon workers were calling for better action on climate change and they had this walkout and so these two workers they had led this group of amazon workers who led this walkout a number of other actions and then they also spoke out about warehouse safety during during the pandemic and amazon said that they had violated internal company policy communications policy that they had spoken to the press amazon about their work without getting permission. And that that is why they were fired but the national labor relations board found that they were retaliated against. And so. i've been kind of looking at this wave of of activism. Obviously that we're seeing in terms of the warehouse workers in so many essential workers during the pandemic And looking at like what are the connections between the white collar kind of tech worker activism that we saw going into the pandemic which hasn't really been the focus but was the focus for these two to to amazon workers and the interesting thing is that i think when we look at the case of bessemer. alabama you know kind of what the union is is rallying around there. It's it does seem to be less about wages. You know amazon does have a fifteen dollars an hour minimum wage which is much much higher than the minimum in in alabama and. They have an automatic question. All of that stuff Yeah which is seven twenty five twenty five something. Yeah some twenty-five so wages are not a huge focus of of this fight or benefits and same with same with these white collar tech workers. You know they were really fighting for just the right to speak out about things that mattered to them. Not necessarily the things that we have traditionally thought about under our labor law as working conditions which is usually wages benefits hours and that kind of stuff and similar thing with with the the union in bessemer alabama They have really spoken a lot about the kind of dehumanizing way that amazon runs the warehouses where they have these trackers and they're constantly being surveilled. And then i think this whole taya log that has erupted online over the bodily functions. You know i mean right. Amazon kind of getting it from all sides In terms of there's the big tech backlash from members of congress that has been building for a while. They've got one of their big warehouses in alabama. As you said unionizing we're going to get the results of that vote this week. The nlrb's saying that they unfairly retaliated against some of their white collar workers and it really does seem to be that amazon which has been allowed to get really big over. The last few decades is now. What when one of the articles you so at the second largest employer in the country right. It's the second largest private employer in the country. I think after walmart it will be very interesting to see how that union vote turns out for sure indeed. Yeah and i think you know whether it succeeds or fails. These kinds of issues are not going to go away for amazon. Okay well speaking of issues that do not go away we still cannot stop talking about the pandemic and the vaccine roll out and my news fix is about vaccine hesitancy. Now early on a lot of people were very concerned that people of color particularly black people were going to have vaccine hesitancy because of all the suspicion about the healthcare system for very good reason but reason surveys are showing that it's not really black people that are hesitant about getting the vaccine it's white evangelical 's and it's such a concern that health officials are now saying that this may really compromise our ability to get to hurt immunity because white evangelicals won't take the vaccine and i guess this really spoke to me these couple of articles i've seen about this because i mean you know this making because we've talked about it. I went to school at a white predominantly white evangelical school from the time. I was in preschool. Until i graduated from high school and the relationship with science was complicated to put it mildly and i can just very much imagine how the conversations about vaccines would have happened in in that context and there are all of these evangelical leaders trying to convince their congregations to take the vaccine bombing up against some of some of the folks in the white evangelical community who are expressing a lot of skepticism. And going after these conspiracy theories. So i take the shot people come on. Yeah i mean. I think what it what it really speaks to with with these influential evangelical not getting not getting through to a lot of this population is just sort of the breakdown of expertise of kind of authority you know. I mean we've seen just such an explosion of people just really resonating with you. Know kind of alternative sources of of information and i missing. I sometimes yeah i mean. I don't think it's. I don't think it's it's only on you know kind of one political and or another. I mean the whole follow. The science thing has become so convoluted during the pandemic. We've had just like i mean i. I follow a number of scientists on twitter. I have a whole list of cova. Scientists they're all fighting with each other so follow. The science is not necessarily always kind of the panacea. You know statement that. I think we've kind of thought of it as just you know people are there's there. There's a real breakdown of of like who to listen to. And if these prominent prominent evangelical leaders are not getting through. I don't know what can. Yeah yes there are a lot of. There's a lot of healthy scientific debate. I do think that we are getting clear. Information now in a bit more of an organized way than in the previous administration from the cdc from health officials from the white house. It's a much more consistent messaging. But yeah come on. People get the shot and that stuff matters for sure. Yeah that messaging from the top. I'm sure really. I think about how the pandemic has played out. And you know that maybe they're always would have been a lot of polarization of science and of different things but when you get kind of sustain messaging from the top. I'm sure it makes a difference. All right we've had to downer topics. Let's happy place. Megan do you know what day it is Well a pretty shirts monday. When i woke up by thought it was sundays. But that was dr me. This will make it better. Its first contact day. Wait what i. I contact a come on now. Being charged with me is the day in star trek war when we make first contact with alien species games in in the film i contact which is a newer of the star trek films in the overall arc of star trek genus. But it is one of the prequels and it shows when we had first contact with aliens the vulcans and it's supposed to take place on april the eight sorry april but fifth. Gosh april the fifth today but in twenty sixty three. So we're not quite there yet. But it's first contact day so all the trekkies and all the space nerds can be very excited and happy and if i hadn't put it in storage out of despair of when i would ever wear it again i'd be wearing my lieutenant a horror costume right now but it's it put it away because why would you make such a thing in storage could be wearing that every day during the pandemic. I won't say that. I didn't wear it on multiple occasions. You know while working but no not today all right. What's your wishes your favorite like do you have. Do you have a you know a star trek kind of like okay. What about you know. I am sorry. I have nothing to add to this dialogue. I may be caught some next generation growing up on the tv. Just like randomly here and there. But i am on my. I'm gonna. I'm gonna get it for this but i know i'm i'm i'm really not. I'm not very knowledgeable about star trek. I have to admit. I need to watch the newer series because most of my pandemic binging has been anime. But i do need to catch up on some of the newer star trek series. But it's like i don't know so many different streaming services and like all the dollars going out i can't i can't have everything all right. What's your make me smile okay. Well kind of kind of in the vein of You know aliens and the earth like being invaded by aliens. So i guess this year and within the next few weeks apparently is going to be a major sucato fast in midwest southern mid atlantic states as cicadas have been just chilling in the earth. I seventeen years I know like some cicadas. Come out every thirteen years or something. These kate is. They've been chilling for seventeen years. And there are gonna come out and just like have this. Do their cicadas thing. Going these crazy clouds of billions and billions of cicadas in cover the entire sky and cars and so i mean i think this is cool. I personally have never experienced the insanity of just like clouds of of cicadas. But i think it sounds cool and so i was reading this atlantic. We'll see here. I know i know it. Does i can see how it could be like. Probably a bad thing but from afar it sounds need on the west coast. We don't we. Don't get cicadas. We get like all kinds of other bad. You know but no yeah. Oh which by the way. We quakes smarter than i did. Not wake up for them. Slept right through the air. But the thing with the cicadas is they you know they're like we're all this year in twenty twenty one. We've just been like waiting in our little on earth in you know habitats just like just like nurturing ourselves off of like the dirt and you're just like waiting we're just waiting to like pop up and like get out there and just go crazy like cicadas just like totally chaotic and orgiastic. I guess aquinas. They come out and they they may. Yes just this total mayhem. And we are all cicadas right now and hopefully. Hopefully our story of twenty twenty one doesn't end like i guess. Cicadas was going to the arc. That's not a good art at all. It's it's a big party. And then they all di well yeah. Let her that i don't. I don't want that. I have to tell you though. I was talking to my uncle's about my uncle. David's about the cicadas this weekend and of course And of course my non biological uncle david says to me you know your uncle. David eight cicadas. You know he. He caught him last time around and he cooked him any aid of that. Another reason to be joyful about cicadas. They're edible pricier. He i'm sure he cooked 'em in a very complex and delicious way as the david's will do. Yeah no thanks hard. Pass very very crunchy I'll be very interested to hear if anybody in the audience is eaten cicadas. And what they think of them. Do i mean. I guess there are people that are like sucato fans and they get super amped up about when the cicadas are coming and they you know they try to go. Find the cicadas. So i wanna know if you are a lover or a hater. I have no standing in this argument. Because i had an experience the cameras but i wanna know i'll catch them and put them in a box and send them to california for all right. That is it for today. We've gone long. We have to keep it to the time. Where we're going to get the the chi psi like from a distance just remotely Megan you're going to be back later this week but tomorrow it's going to be me an andy euler for a deep dive on what's happening at the border with his latest wave of migration and it's being driven by a really complex set of factors one of which is economics in central america. So if you have questions or comments you can reach us at make me smart at marketplace dot org. Okay make me. Smart is produced by mercy. Cabrera and our digital producer is tony wagner. Eric phillips writes the newsletter. And the make me smart explainers. Today's program was engineered by gary lang. Ben tolliday and daniel ramirez composed our theme music. Senior producer is donna. Tam and the executive director of on demand is deter any of us. Would you eat a cicadas though which you try i definitely why beane grasshoppers of eating grasshoppers in out of chocolate i would. I've i tried meal worms once. It was not a great experience. I've tried silkworms. They were kind of smelly to did not would not try again. Yeah i get the sense that my uncle is probably going to bully me into. Try and cicadas at some point. In the next couple of months. I look forward to the david takeda creation.