Amazon employees are speaking out against the online retail giant, criticizing the company for its business practices, including the company’s expansion of its business with major oil and gas companies and the impact it has on the environment. After at least two employees spoke publicly about their opinions, saying that Amazon should be more proactive when it comes to climate change, the workers received written warnings from their employer saying that they could be fired for violating the company’s communications policy. In response to this threat, hundreds of Amazon employees are banding together to criticize the company and support their fellow employees, even if it means losing their job.
Amazon’s communications policy prohibits employees from speaking about the company without prior authorization. The Amazon activists, also known as Amazon Employees for Climate Change, sent an email to thousands of colleagues, asking them to share their thoughts about Amazon’s practices, including issues related to sustainability, immigration, and working conditions in warehouses. The organizers plan to make the comments public once they have gathered at least 100 responses. They believe that strength in numbers will make it more difficult for Amazon to punish a large group of dissenters as opposed to two or three outspoken employees.
Amazon Spokesperson Stands by Company Policy
When asked about the employees’ efforts to organize and speak out against the company, a spokesperson from Amazon said that employees are welcome to discuss a range of topics about the company, including sustainability and other environmental issues with fellow employees and team members. However, the external communications policy states that employees may not speak to the media about the company unless they have approval. An updated version of the policy, which was made after Amazon employees announced their climate protest, said that employees would need to request approval to speak to the media, and they would need to provide a business justification for their request.
One employee was called into a meeting with human resources after she commented on Amazon’s business with oil and energy companies for a story in The Washington Post. She was told that if she spoke to the media again, she could lose her job. She said that she spoke up because she is genuinely scared about the climate crisis, and she will continue to speak up until things start to change.
Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Advocate for Employees’ Rights
The Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. understand the complex relationship between a company like Amazon and its employees. We work closely with employees who choose to speak out against a company for any wrongdoing. To schedule an initial consultation, call us today at 215-574-0600 or contact us online. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.