Amazon employees hosting virtual walkout in protest of recent firings

Apr 17 2020, 12:12 pm

The firing of Maren Costa and Emily Cunningham may have flown under the radar to some, but to the Amazon Employees for Climate Justice (AECJ), the firings were unjust and unacceptable.

According to the AECJ, Amazon has been firing workers protesting the lack of adequate safety precautions in the warehouses. The group claims that two former members, Costa and Cunningham, were fired after inviting fellow employees to a meeting about the conditions in Amazon warehouses.

The duo reportedly aimed to educate workers about the intersections between the COVID-19 and the climate crisis and find out workers’ opinions on crisis management.

The AECJ also claims that upon discovering the meeting, Amazon deleted the event from employee calendars.

“Amazon must not be allowed to censor internal conversations between employees. We are outraged that Amazon deleted a meeting invitation to prevent us from talking with our own coworkers about their working conditions. What is Amazon so afraid of?” said a blog post by the AECJ.

In protest of Amazon’s firings, as well as the alleged censorship within the company, the AECJ has planned a virtual walkout on Friday, April 24.

The group is calling on all Amazon tech workers to call in sick and join their day-long livestream where they’ll discuss what’s happened, their thoughts on the matter, and even feature a few warehouse workers and possible celebrity guests.

The group is hoping that this walkout brings attention to the climate movement within Amazon, and wants the company to “make it right” through the following actions:

  • Immediately reinstate any workers who were fired based on selective enforcement of policies and behavior guidelines.
  • Change external communications policies.
  • Commit to enforcing rules fairly and transparently.
  • Publicly disclose the company’s protocol for tracking and reporting coronavirus cases.
  • Publicly clarify the company’s criteria for prioritizing essential shipments and suspend deliveries of nonessential goods.
  • Pay a living wage to every hourly worker.
  • Include paid sick leave for all workers every year.
  • End punishment based on not meeting rate.
  • Keep the extra 5 minutes for paid breaks.
  • Aim towards zero emissions by 2030.
  • Require Community Benefits Agreements for all new development projects.
  • Integrate Racial Equity Impact Assessments into business decisions.

Daily Hive has reached out to Amazon for comment. 

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