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Hashtag Trending Jan 13 – T-Mobile and Mint Mobile; Amazon fails to overturn vote to unionize; Parler lays off staff

T-Mobile may acquire Mint Mobile, Amazon has failed to overturn Staten Island warehouse’s vote to unionize, and Parler has reportedly fired majority of its staff. 

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Friday January 13 and I’m your host, Ashee Pamma.

T-Mobile U.S. may acquire Mint Mobile, the budget wireless provider backed by actor Ryan Reynolds. Bloomberg reports that the two companies have been in talks but no final decision has been made and Mint Mobile could opt to remain independent or sell to another party. Mint Mobile offers budget cell phone plans on the T-Mobile network for $15 per month. The company’s plans are designed so that people don’t pay for more bandwidth than they actually require. It allows users to start with a three-month period and then make adjustments after that. Representatives from T-mobile declined to comment and those from Mint Mobile did not immediately respond to the request. 

Amazon has failed to convince Cornele Overstreet, regional director with the National Labor Relations Board, to overturn JFK8 workers’ vote in favour of unionization. A report from Engadget notes that the JFK8 facility in Staten Island was the first unionized Amazon warehouse after workers voted 2,350 to 1,912 in favour of joining a union last year. Amazon said at the time that it was “disappointed” with the result and challenged the vote. The company alleged “inappropriate and undue influence” from the National Labor Relations Board. Amazon also accused union organizers of threatening employees to vote in favour of unionization. However, reports from Thursday find that Amazon was unable to present sufficient proof of inappropriate conduct to overturn the election’s results. Overstreet agreed with the board hearing officer who recommended in September that JFK8’s union vote should be upheld. 

The owner of Parler, a “free speech” social network, has laid off the majority of its staff and executives in recent weeks. Reports from The Verge and Ars Technica reveal that layoffs began in late November. About 75 per cent of the staff were let go resulting in just 20 employees left working at both Parler and the parent company’s cloud services venture. Based on the timeline, the layoffs began about two weeks after Parlement Technologies ended a deal to sell Parler to Ye, formerly known as Kanye West. Ye and Parlement announced the acquisition deal on October 17, with Ye saying he would protect “conservative opinions” on the site. However, Parlement announced the termination of the deal in mid-November after Ye’s anti-semitic comments.  

Microsoft employees in the U.S. will receive unlimited time off. The announcement was made in an email to employees. The company is calling its unlimited time off “Discretionary Time Off,” and it will apply to all salaried employees within the U.S. The changes will begin on Monday and mean even new Microsoft employees don’t need to wait to accumulate vacation time. Microsoft will offer 10 corporate holidays, leaves of absence, sick and mental health time off, as well as time away for jury duty. 

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Ashee Pamma.

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