Amazon workers walk out to protest return-to-work policy, climate change

Several hundred administrative and tech workers staged a walkout today at Amazon’s main headquarters in Seattle, urging the giant retail and technology company to adopt more climate-friendly policies and rules for in-office work.

Several speakers at an event organized by a group called Climate Justice for Amazon Employees argued for a range of policies that would reduce the company’s impact on the environment. They claimed that Amazon was not taking climate change seriously enough, stating this outside the company’s headquarters on Wednesday morning. The event was broadcast on Twitter.

Representatives from various labor advocacy groups, including the Center Awood, a labor advocacy group in Minneapolis that helped workers in the Amazon warehouse, sent statements of support and included speakers such as Moreno Shemona, the local director of the group working towards climate justice and better working conditions for warehouse workers in the city.

“Continue advocating for Amazon’s involvement in the green new deal,” Moreno urged.

During the speech delivered by one of the speakers from Seattle, Abdirahman Muse, the executive director of Awood Center, expressed, “By coming together and organizing, it is possible to bring about a transformation in Amazon.”

In a recent admission by the company, Amazon stated that it had dropped its commitment to its “Zero” policy, which pledged to reduce its net carbon emissions by 50% by 2030. This admission is part of the reason for the walkout, according to a statement issued by Justice Climate for Employees Amazon (AECJ).

According to an unidentified employee in the declaration, “I’m shocked that top management silently disregarded one of the main objectives in the environmental commitment.” “That’s the reason I left.” “It’s another indication that the management still doesn’t prioritize the impact on the environment in their decision-making.”

The Amazon group has been accused of backtracking on its commitments to reduce its environmental impact, including undercounting its carbon footprint and locating operations that disproportionately pollute and undercut the working and living conditions of clean energy communities.

Brad Glasser, an Amazon representative, stressed the significance of having patience and highlighted that it would require time to accomplish numerous objectives stated in the company’s dedication to tackling climate change.

Glasser stated, “It will require a significant amount of time to achieve, for businesses such as ours that utilize a substantial amount of energy and possess extensive transportation, packaging, and physical infrastructure assets, although we all desire to reach that point as soon as possible.”

The walkout, orchestrated by the company, was also arranged to demonstrate against compulsory return-to-office protocols. The organization’s future prosperity was jeopardized, as stated by the AECJ, who referred to the return-to-office policy as a “botched introduction”.

“One employee quoted in the statement expressed their lack of faith in the decision-making of senior management, and they are aware that they are not the only ones feeling this way. The employee emphasized the need for senior leadership to adapt to the current era if the company intends to attract top talent from around the globe.”

Glasser’s statement mentioned that Amazon was “satisfied” with the progress made during the initial month of the new policy.

“Lots of employees and the surrounding businesses have heard this from numerous employees and the surrounding businesses,” stated Glasser. “We comprehend that it will require some time to adapt to spending more time in the office, and there are numerous teams within the company diligently striving to facilitate this transition for employees,” Glasser added. “There is a heightened sense of vitality, cooperation, and interactions taking place.”