Amazon Employees for Climate Justice published quotes from 357 colleagues criticizing the company for its carbon footprint and its business with the oil and gas industry. The Medium post was in protest against the company’s warning that employees could be fired for speaking on the subject. “While all employees are welcome to engage constructively with any of the many teams inside Amazon that work on sustainability and other topics, we do enforce our external communications policy and will not allow employees to publicly disparage or misrepresent the company,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. (Washington Post)
Talking point: Employee pushback on climate change has had some small influence on Amazon: in September 2019, CEO Jeff Bezos pledged to, among other things, regularly disclose the company’s emissions and meet the Paris climate agreement targets 10 years early. Soon after, Amazon updated its communications policy, according to employees, to prohibit workers from speaking publicly about the company’s climate practice without a business justification and executive sign-off. Amazon follows Google in clashing with workers over their ability to speak openly about their employer. In September 2019, dozens of Google employees alleged they faced retaliation after speaking out about workplace harassment; several claimed they were pushed out of the company because of their activism. The company eventually pared back its weekly town halls, once viewed as a symbol of corporate transparency.