Hundreds of Amazon employees are speaking out against their employer’s record on climate change, running the risk of being fired to defy a company-wide ban against such public criticism.
The group Amazon Worker for Environment Justice published remarks from 357 workers on Sunday, a number of which highlight what employees view as Amazon’s hypocrisy. The company has actually pledged to use just renewable energy sources in the future and cut its carbon emissions, but it continues to work with and improve the businesses of oil and gas companies.
” The science on climate modification is clear,” composes Amelia Graham-McCann, a senior organisation analyst at the business. “It is unconscionable for Amazon to continue helping the oil and gas market extract fossil fuels while attempting to silence workers who speak out.”
According to a recent report from The Guardian, just 20 business are responsible for one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions since 1965, and a variety of these (consisting of BP and Shell) depend on Amazon for cloud computing, machine learning, and data services.
” I desire Amazon to continue its vision to be Earth’s most customer-centric business,” composes Melissa Reeder, a senior UX designer. “By ending our agreements with oil and gas business, we can show the world we put people over revenues and be a leader against climate modification.”
1/ Hundreds of us decided to stand up to our employer, Amazon. #AMZNSpeakOut pic.twitter.com/zWIKku4LF6
— Amazon Employees For Environment Justice (@AMZNforClimate) January 27,2020
This sort of public criticism is prohibited by Amazon’s communications policy. A representative for the business told The Verge that workers are instead encouraged to join internal groups and submit questions at company Q&A s.
” While all staff members are welcome to engage constructively with any of the many groups inside Amazon that work on sustainability and other subjects, we do enforce our external communications policy and will not allow staff members to publicly disparage or misrepresent the business or the hard work of their colleagues who are developing services to these difficult issues,” said the representative.
By criticizing Amazon in public, workers risk being fired– a hazard received by workers who spoke out on the concern previously this month. However those associated with this mass action hope that by collaborating their criticism, they’ll avoid such punishment. According to a report from Recode, an email sent by the Amazon Staff Members for Environment Justice getting comments from employees reassured peers that there is “strength in numbers.”
The action is the current example of Silicon Valley workers organizing in an attempt to move companies’ policies. Demonstrations over the last few years have actually consisted of a Google walkout in reaction to the company shielding guys implicated of sexually pestering coworkers and Microsoft staff members objecting both “complicity in the climate crisis” and work with ICE.
Although the number of Amazon workers who published remarks today is small compared to the firm’s total labor force (approximately 750,000, including warehouse personnel), they represent a series of high-skilled tasks, such as information scientists and software designers.
The released comments are far from evenly critical. Numerous praise Amazon for its present commitments to taking on environment modification but state that if the business is real to its culture of bold leadership, it requires to do more– and let staff members speak out.
” I enjoy working at Amazon,” composes Mark Hiew, a senior marketing manager. “One of the important things I like most is our management concept to ‘Have backbone, disagree and dedicate.’ In this minute in our nation’s political and corporate history, I think it’s more crucial than ever for staff members to have freedom of speech to speak openly about their employer’s actions.”
Amazon did not respond to The Brink‘s questions as to whether these individuals would be penalized for publishing their remarks.
Update January 27, 12: 30 PM ET: Included a video from Amazon Employees for Environment Justice.