John Oliver closed his latest season with an in-depth look at how some of America’s biggest companies spend millions of dollars trying to stop their workers from forming unions.
And he wasn’t afraid to name names, calling out Amazon, Target, Starbucks and others as he revealed the ham-fisted tactics they use to manipulate workers.
For example, Delta Airlines in 2019 put up signs warning workers that union dues could cost about $700 a year and encouraged them to buy video games with that money instead.
“Telling your workers to play video games instead of unionizing is incredibly condescending,” Oliver said. “And doubly so when you consider video game characters are the ultimate example of exploited labor. Think about it: They take orders all day, usually get paid in coins and not once in 36 years of playing Mario have I ever seen him get to take a bathroom break.”
Oliver also showed off some union-busting videos companies have made and in some cases forced workers to watch as well as other tactics they routinely employ to prevent organizing.
And he concluded with a much more honest video those companies could show their workers instead:
HBO hasn’t announced a return date for “Last Week Tonight,” but the show typically launches its new season in mid-February.