Amazon Employees for Climate Justice staged a walkout and rally of over 1,000 tech workers at Amazon’s company headquarters in Seattle on May 31. In what the organizers called, “the largest tech worker action since the COVID-19 pandemic,” another 1,000 workers joined the protest from across the U.S., Ireland, South Africa, China, Germany, Poland, Brazil, Canada and Spain by showing their pictures with protest signs on a Slack channel. (@AMZNforClimate, Twitter)
The workers’ protest gained momentum, when the previous week Amazon bosses deleted from their website the company’s “Shipment Zero” pledge, reneging on its promise to the climate-conscious workers to reduce to net zero carbon emissions for half its shipments by 2030.
Workers were also outraged by the company’s recent mandatory return-to-work policy during the ongoing pandemic and Amazon’s layoffs of 27,000 workers, attacks being experienced by workers throughout the high-tech industry.
The Amazon monopoly, a worldwide serial polluter, now boasts a new “climate pledge” for reducing carbon emissions by 2040. The workers’ walkout exposed the truth that Amazon is instead a corporate criminal, having done little or nothing to reduce emissions at its global delivery fleets and data centers.
In a May 23 post, Amazon Employees for Climate Justice blasted the company’s hypocrisy, noting: “Amazon’s carbon emissions increased another 18% last year and 40% since they announced the climate pledge. This was driven in part by a massive increase in warehouse construction. Once again, Amazon prioritizes profit over the planet.”
Amazon workers toil long hours, producing $356 billion in sales from the U.S. alone in 2022. Speakers like Pamela Hayter said remote work at home helped her and other workers stay safe during the pandemic and get reacquainted with their own families. So far 20,000 Amazon workers have signed petitions against the company’s return-to-work mandates.