Amazon employees in their hundreds have publicly criticised the company’s climate policies despite threats of termination for doing so.
Over 350 employees have launched a co-ordinated effort to publicly criticise the online retail giant and call for it to drop controversial cloud-computing contracts with clients in the oil and gas industry.
“Amazon Employees Share Our Views on Company Business”, a blog post published on Medium, listed the names of all the employees supporting the action in stark defiance of threats made earlier this month that they could lose their jobs.
Earlier in January, The Guardian reported that several members of Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, a group of staff which campaign for the retailer to take more action on climate change, has seen several of its members questioned by legal and HR representatives after making public comments about the company’s policies.
One was informed that although she will face no punishment at this point, future unauthorised public comments could result in “formal corrective action, to and including termination of your employment with Amazon”.
In September, a day before more than 1000 employees planned to walk out of as part of the Global Climate Crisis, Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos announced a pledge to rely completely on renewable energy by 2030 and have net zero carbon emissions by 2040.
However, employees have criticised Amazon for not going far enough, citing its tech rival Microsoft’s pledge to be carbon negative by 2030, a decade ahead of Amazon.
“Expecting its employees to maintain silence on these issues, and Amazon’s impact on them, is really a reprehensible over-reach,” Amazon engineer Michael Sokolov wrote.
“I am proud to take this opportunity to demonstrate my unwillingness to comply.”
In response to the action, Amazon said: “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.”