Amazon to Lose Hundreds of Employees during Climate Change Walkout

Rodiano Bonacci
Settembre 10, 2019

The employees have demanded commitment from the company on three fronts: 'Zero emissions by 2030 [and] pilot electric vehicles first in communities most impacted by our pollution; zero custom Amazon Web Services (AWS) contracts for fossil fuel companies to accelerate oil and gas extraction; zero funding for climate [change] denying lobbyists and politicians. Amazon is said to have funded 68 members of Congress past year "who voted against climate legislation 100% of the time".

The group of employees noted in its statement that the company "contributes directly" to climate change through its "fossil fuel infrastructures", while funding "the premier climate denying think tank."

More than 7,600 software engineers, managers, designers, and other Amazon workers signed an open letter to CEO Jeff Bezos and the Amazon board of directors asking the company to adopt a comprehensive climate change plan.

"As employees at one of the largest and most powerful companies in the world, our role in facing the climate crisis is to ensure our company is leading on climate, not following", employees wrote in a blog post.

It's part of a global general strike due to take place on September 20, led by activist Greta Thunberg. "Earlier this year, we announced Shipment Zero - Amazon's vision to make all Amazon shipments net zero carbon, with 50% of all shipments net zero by 2030", an Amazon spokesperson said. The science is clear: "fossil fuels must stay in the ground".

The protesting workers say that's not enough. "Amazon is one of the world's most innovative companies". "As a leader, we need to reach zero first and not be a company who slides in at the last possible deadline".

The protest threat arrives as the tech giant has been focused on making one-day shipping the standard on Amazon Prime, which now offers free two-day shipping on eligible orders.To cut down on delivery times, Amazon has been spending a fortune building out the necessary infrastructure, and also buying up diesel-powered minivans. "A commitment from Amazon has the power to move industries".

However, Amazon told PCMag the company is committed to help cutting carbon emissions. "Over the past decade through our sustainable packaging programs, we've eliminated more than 244,000 tons of packaging materials and avoided 500 million shipping boxes". Amazon has also promised to reveal its carbon footprint at some point this year, but has yet to fulfil that pledge. In July, several hundred environmental activists demonstrated outside of Amazon's headquarters in Paris, urging the company to do more to limit its impact on the environment.

The Sept. 20 walkout will start at 11:30 a.m. local time at Amazon's offices in Seattle and will last throughout the day.

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