More than a thousand employees of everything-seller and cloud computing giant Amazon have announced they are to walk out in protest at the company's environmental impact, as part of the Global Climate Walkout later this month.
From its humble beginnings as an online bookstore, Amazon has grown to become one of the biggest companies in the world - and in doing so has made its founder Jeff Bezos billions of dollars. The company's success, though, has placed it under considerable scrutiny: Amazon is currently under investigation by the European Commission on accusations of antitrust illegalities, and it recently introduced a charitable donation programme for unsold goods after press investigations discovered they were being crushed and sent to landfill.
Now the company is facing pressure from its own staff: Over a thousand Amazon employees have confirmed they are to stage a protest during the Global Climate Walkout event later this month over the company's environmental impact.
'"It’s hard to find an issue that is more important than climate change. The science is super compelling on this: there’s no doubt about it." These are the words of Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO,' the protest's organisers write in a post attributed to Amazon Employees for Climate Justice. 'And yet: Amazon contributes directly to climate change through intensive use of fossil fuels throughout our businesses and pollutes communities with our fossil fuel infrastructure; we have custom solutions to help oil and gas companies accelerate extraction and exploration of new oil and gas reserves; we’re funding the premier climate denying think tank and we funded 68 members of Congress in 2018 who voted against climate legislation 100% of the time.'
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.'
Thus far, Amazon has not publicly responded to the walkout plan.
February 27 2020 | 11:00