Some of the corporate employees of Amazon, who were told to report back to the office, have already left again. Today, protests were held in front of the organization’s Seattle headquarters and some other Amazon offices. The workers are protesting both Amazon’s need that they return to the office and the company’s lack of significant climate change action.
“Morale is the lowest I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” said a Seattle-based worker who began working there in 2020 and made it through two rounds of layoffs this year that resulted in the loss of 27,000 jobs for Amazonians. Because they have made these arbitrary judgments that have an influence on the lives of employees, people have lost faith in leadership.
Employees are striking, according to the group, to draw attention to a “lack of trust in company leadership’s decision-making.” Since last fall, Amazon has slashed 27,000 workers across its cloud computing, advertising, and retail divisions, among other areas, in the greatest round of layoffs in its 29-year history. On May 1, the business issued a directive requiring corporate staff to begin spending at least three days per week in the office, thereby ending the remote work arrangements that some employees had grown accustomed to during the coronavirus outbreak.
With posters reading “Amazon strive harder” and “Earth’s best employer?,” workers gathered on a green park near office towers and an airstream that was handing out free bananas to nearby employees. Listen to us instead of the PR. Coworkers informed her that being able to work remotely had helped them to care for newborn infants and relatives with special needs, and one employee talked about how it had allowed her to spend more time with her family.
The walkout is also being used by workers to raise awareness of their concerns that Amazon isn’t living up to its climate obligations. They cited Amazon’s most recent sustainability report, which revealed that the e-commerce giant saw a 40% increase in carbon emissions between 2021 and 2019, the year it introduced its “Climate Pledge” initiative. Staff members also brought up a report from Reveal from The Centre for Investigative Reporting from last year, which found that the company undercounts its carbon footprint by only accounting for the carbon emissions from the use of products with the Amazon brand, rather than those it purchases from suppliers and sells directly to customers.