Why No New Blog Posts, Lucia?

People are writing to me asking why I haven’t added to my blog since September 2022. Two reasons:

(1) I am producing so much content with print, audio and video interviews of me about my book; and posted sparkling content on LinkedIn (which are mini blogs, really) until the end of 2022. I don’t feel the need to continue filling space with words here; and

(2) I want my September 14, 2022 post to stay at the top. Because it’s important to out such behavior.

That is all. Now go be a Force of Good! 🦸🏻‍♀️

What LinkedIn Wouldn’t Let You See

On Monday September 12, 2022, I posted the following on LinkedIn. 2 days later, it was removed by LinkedIn and I received a warning that it violated community standards (with no explanation of what the violation was. Mind you, my post didn’t even mention some of the more extreme behaviors: the written group rape threat against me; the corporate malfeasance; the widespread libel; the guy who put up a windshield sized banner of himself naked in the bathtub; emails saying I was like “Mom in the room making sure everyone plays nice” for simply attending meetings to inform myself of corporate operations; the fact that invoices, ballots and surveys were sent only to male account-holders and not the women; and so much more). So, I posted this image of LinkedIn’s reprimand of me, which generated quite a bit of traffic and requests by people to see the content of the original post. Here is that content of the original post:

What was it Bruce Banner said? “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry . . .”

They labeled me a Disruptor. Well, WATCH ME LEAN INTO THAT 🦸🏻‍♀️

The year was 2021. I’d been practically begged to be President/CEO of a very male dominated sports organization (picture the last bastion of White male privilege in your mind’s eye – yep, that’s the place!) and I ended up being formally reprimanded by a secretly assembled conduct committee for . . .

(really, prepare to react with shock & dismay at my atrocious behavior) . . .

once (allegedly) dropping the F-bomb in a board meeting. (click here to watch scene. 2 minutes to watch. “The” moment is about a minute and 5 seconds in)


And here’s what definitely NEVER happened at that place by the men with no repercussions:

✓dropping F-bombs in meetings every 6 minutes or so (“just locker room talk”)
✓drinking so excessively that they whipped “it” out and urinated on the wall (“boys will be boys,” 🤷🏻‍♀️)
✓inebriation to the point of passing out in the parking lot (“hey, it happens!”)
✓breaking into a fight and punching a hole in a manager’s wall (no comment)

✓arrested and jailed overnight for public drunk & disorderly conduct and then boasting vocally about it within the organization (he’s still on the board. no reprimand. Same dude as naked in the bathtub banner referenced above)

✓referencing “going home and getting my gun” if the women didn’t quit being so “entitled” with their demands of equitable treatment (also still on the board!)

✓plying a 17-year old female employee with tequila at a men’s only event

✓(I’ll need to do this in installments because the list of things definitely an invention of my overactive imagination by others in leadership exceeds the character limit)

But ONE woman allegedly drops ONE F-bomb in ONE meeting and it’s the end of civilization as we know it. AND THEN THEY OUSTED ME.
(Is this the “whole story?” Um . . . not even close, sports fans!)

Yes. It’s true. If you’ve been wondering who’s responsible for the degradation of humanity: it’s ME! 👿

I must have deserved it, right? (And do you wonder what caused me to (allegedly) drop said F-bomb . . .?)

Can I get a “Oh HELL NO, Lucia!” in the comments? (It really deserves an F-bomb, but I wouldn’t want you to be reprimanded by LinkedIn)

Zero #allyship. Bullying wasn’t just tolerated; it was encouraged.

NOW FOR THE PUNCHLINE: Without their ousting me, I wouldn’t now have my role with UN Women; wouldn’t have started my podcast; wouldn’t have written my SEXY, SPLASHY, SMART un-put-downable Robert Cialdini-endorsed / NPR interviewed book about to release (see chapter 15: Negotiating with Bullies).
Sneak peek here: https://lnkd.in/ghcQQiP2

They thought I wouldn’t survive the storm? I AM THE STORM, FELLAS!

They really should have played nicer (see chapters 2 and 15). 😠

That letter of reprimand is a badge of honor. If you’re someone to help display it on a billboard on the CA-101 freeway, DM me.

🎤drop. Before I (allegedly) drop another F-bomb . . .

Coming Attractions

My blog has gone quiet lately because I’ve been so busy with my podcast, and bringing my truly sui generis book to the market (public release date 10/01/22 and sneak peek here)



Sweat The Small Stuff: How The Union Finally Succeeded At Amazon

Tammy Kim of The New Yorker described it as “potentially one of the biggest labor victories since the 1930’s.” She was talking about the historic JFK8 Amazon workers vote to unionize on April 1st of this year, 2022.

First a quick note to say that this is neither an indictment of Amazon as a company nor an endorsement of unions in general. But as an attorney who specialized in labor and employment law and a negotiation expert, I can hardly resist commenting on and analyzing a historic labor negotiation that has unfolded before our very eyes – the first for Amazon outside of Europe, and one that is totally independent / unaffiliated with a national union.

Chris Smalls, former rapper and Amazon warehouse worker, was the trailblazer. How did he do it going up against the country’s second largest employer? A company that spent a budget of $4.3 million on its ant-union consultants last year compared to the JFK8 warehouse budget of $120,000; and after an effort to unionize the Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama failed just last year? And not just in Bessemer. Since the nineteen-nineties, several well-established unions have tried and failed to organize at Amazon: the Communications Workers of America, the Teamsters, United Food and Commercial Workers, and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

And what does a historic, national, labor event like this have to do with you and everyday negotiation (setting aside the obvious for a moment, which is an assumption that many of us avail ourselves of Amazon shopping and quick fulfillment of orders)?

Well, let’s examine a few elements of how Mr. Smalls accomplished something so monumental – using strategies that we have already discussed in previous blogs:

First, for our podcast listeners (Pactum Factum: The Superpower Of Everyday Negotiation), recall the chocolate negotiations from Episode 2 and round 3: asymmetry. In the JFK8 Amazon union drive, we have classic asymmetry in power, in precedent, and financial resources.

So, Smalls started with FRIENDS. He and a few other co-workers had been fired from the JFK8 fulfillment center on Staten Island after the first Covid breakout, allegedly due to failure to observe social distancing rules. By partnering with a good friends who were similarly situated to Smalls (having been terminated or disciplined by Amazon), Smalls may have started small, but he started smart by finding allies. Namely: Derrick Palmer, Jordan Flowers, and Gerald Bryson.

Second, I direct you to Episode 3 and my admonition to never underestimate anyone. Amazon’s chief counsel made the mistake of describing Mr. Smalls as “not smart, or articulate,” in an email mistakenly sent to more than 1,000 people. This backfired big time and contributed to Smalls rising to be the very “face” of the organizing effort.

Third, Smalls made it easy on people. He went to them. He and his cohorts met workers at bus stops, the ferry stop and outside the warehouse

Fourth (and this really should be first, also harkening back to Episode 2 and previous blogs): rapport, rapport, rapport! He started with small gatherings, bonfires, brought homemade baked Ziti (that’s a type of pasta). Sidenote: the breaking of bread is actually incredibly important in negotiation because it generates group oxytocin, which is the bonding hormone.

5th: empathy and relationships. Also in Episode 2, we discussed analyzing which of the Richard Shell categories of negotiation yours falls into. This one was heavy in the relationship category. Smalls and fellow organizers worked from within the organization. One of the main reasons the Bessemer effort failed is because it was an effort from the outside by a large labor union. The workers felt like the union didn’t know or understand them. Smalls focused on bonding and relationships.

6th: LISTENING (Episode 7 and Episode 8). Frustrated warehouse workers were worried about safety, rising infection rates of Covid, and other working conditions including bathroom breaks. They felt that the company ignored their concerns. Smalls and his team listened to them as well as reasons why some workers didn’t trust unions from a previous job, which earned them trust and validity for the cause.

7th: they PLANNED. They analyzed the parties / the players. They set up a GoFundMe campaign; visited the Bessemer warehouse to learn from the 2021 union drive; interviewed other previous organizers; examined past practice and how to challenge standards and norms that Amazon had utilized as its past playbook. They even leveraged third parties as a voice of authority and validity: that is, A coalition of New York City officials and residents who chased out Amazon in 2019, when the company tried to install a secondary headquarters in Queens and avail itself of more than three billion dollars in public subsidies; and in 2021, the state’s attorney general lawsuit against Amazon over health and safety violations. Contrast this to Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville’s expressing his distaste for the Bessemer union.

They set high, specific, justifiable goals (also Episode 3): for example, the labor board requires 30% of the eligible workforce to sign cards to authorize a union, and they set a goal of 40%.

Organizers put in the TIME to research and analyze INTERESTS (again, Episode 3): they made thousands of phone calls. Immigrant members of the organizing effort used WhatsApp to garner support in French, Arabic, and Spanish.

And then, they initially failed. The labor board rejected the initial application as failing to demonstrate sufficient signatures – due to payroll data submitted by Amazon that called into question the validity of some of the signatures that had signed cards.

So they continued building rapport and making it easy for workers to get informed and join the movement: with TikTok videos, s’mores and get-togethers complete with Marvin Gaye music. And more empathy (never gets old!) – including setting up a funding campaign for a fired Amazon worker who became homeless.

They also lawyered up, joining with an attorney who represented the organizers free of charge.

The result was no slam dunk. Many Amazon workers were satisfied with Amazon, grateful for the hourly wage and the benefits, fine with the status quo or suspicious of unions and/or not wanting to pay union dues. The final tally was 2,654 in favor to 2,131 against unionizing.

But just look at how starting slowly, using empathy, planning, listening, rapport, assessing power v. leverage, researching standards and how to challenge them – steadily flourished to make a large scale difference. That’s why the small stuff matters. If you commit to these habits in little ways with your communication and actions everyday, it all adds up.

By Lucia Kanter St. Amour, Pactum Factum Principal