More than 330 Amazon employees reportedly violated the e-commerce giant’s communications policy on Sunday in a public display of support for colleagues who were warned they could be fired for speaking out against the company’s environmental practices.
The Houston Chronicle reports that more than 330 Amazon employees violated the tech giant’s communications policy on Sunday in a public display of support for colleagues who were threatened with dismissal for speaking out against the company’s refusal to address climate issues.
A group of environmental activists at Amazon, called Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, criticized Amazon’s business relations with the oil and gas industry as well as the firm’s carbon footprint published quotes from workers in a post on Medium recently.
The comments are attributed to Amazon workers by name and show mass defiance of company communications rules that prevent workers from commenting publicly on Amazon’s business without approval from executives or corporate justification.
Scott Ogle, a queue management analyst, reportedly stated in a comment: “Amazon’s role in the climate crisis is staggering and alarming. While the company has publicly announced measures to reduce emissions and impacts in the coming years, it does not add up with its ongoing support to oil and gas industries and its efforts to silence employees who speak out. I stand with fellow employees who prioritize sustainability over profits.”
Charlie LaBarge, a software engineer at the firm, wrote: “Solidarity to the workers facing retaliation for standing up!” The group reportedly plans to post a video of employees speaking out against the danger of climate change and stating that they will not be silenced.
Amazon spokesperson Drew Herdener said in a statement:
While all employees are welcome to engage constructively with any of the many teams inside Amazon that work on sustainability and other topics, we do enforce our external communications policy and will not allow employees to publicly disparage or misrepresent the company or the hard work of their colleagues who are developing solutions to these hard problems.
Herdener pointed to a climate initiative announced by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in September in which the firm agreed to measure and report Amazon’s emissions on a regular basis and attempt to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement 10 years early.
Read more about the protests at the Houston Chronicle here.