Amazon employees speak in support of Maren Costa & Emily Cunningham

Dozens of tech workers gathered on Sept 16, 2021 to show support for Cunningham & Costa

On Tuesday, September 28, Amazon will be put on trial for illegally retaliating against two former tech workers who were prominent leaders in the employee group Amazon Employees for Climate Justice (AECJ). The former employees, Maren Costa and Emily Cunningham had pushed Amazon to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and take a more aggressive stance in combating the climate crisis.

Although Costa and Cunningham were fired in April of 2020, tech workers throughout the company are still angry about the illegal retaliation and many posted statements showing their support. We are sharing these statements below.

This firing is wrong and unfair.
— Senior Software Engineer

They surfaced the need for the company to focus on sustainability. Although now the need to do more is widely acknowledged and acted on, it wasn’t always the case. I believe both Emily and Maren efforts contributed massively to show that climate change needs addressing.
— Finance Manager

It’s unfair for them to get fired by virtue of disagreeing with the company’s policies and challenging Amazon to strive to do better. They are merely expressing what is an integral part of Amazon culture. Their everlasting impact and passion on climate change will be forever felt in Amazon.
— Software Development Engineer II

Maren and Emily started two very important conversations in Amazon that will have implications not just for the company but for the survival of humanity : 1. Discussion of Amazons role in combating climate change. 2. Discussion between tech workers of Amazon and Amazons warehouse workers to understand and support better working conditions for the latter. Amazon grudgingly tolerated the first, but fired them for the second. Speaks a lot about the brutal anti-labor history of US capitalism itself. But what Maren and Emily did is so important and helped move Amazon in the right direction in so many ways: starting with the Climate Pledge and now we have a leadership principle to “be the worlds most valued employer”. Maren and Emily remain the unsung emissaries who made it all happen. Management should be rewarding them, not firing them illegally for their important contribution to save humanity at this time of Climate and environmental destruction of our planet.
— Software Development Engineer

Corporations like Amazon will eventually disintegrate, if they ignore or retaliate against their own workers who speak the truth on Amazon’s unjust policies regarding climate change and COVID-19. If Amazon claims strive to be the Earth’s best employer, they need to lead by example by actually listening to their employees who point out the injustices and inefficiencies within Amazon. Treating the symptoms of climate change with the band-aid donation of one billion dollars here and there, is cheap, and not frugal in the long term.
— Data Associate

Maren & Emily — thank you for your courage to do what came naturally as the right thing, and never quitting or stopping!!
— UX

They are two strong women, who stood up for what was right, even though Amazon wanted them to stay silent. They were unfairly and illegally retaliated against. Companies can’t be allowed to get away with this kind of abuse, and Maren and Emily deserve better. They are an inspiration to young women and to people everywhere who want to make the world a better place.
— Software development engineer

We need to do better and have a long way to go! Retaliation firings are still happening….
— EA

As a woman in Tech with both diverse experiences and interests I am appalled Amazon illegally retaliated against Emily and Maren. Their courage and bravery in the face of overwhelming odds gives me strength and hope.
— Sr. Marketing Manager

Emily and Maren are doing the important work of calling out Amazon’s bad practices and speaking out in support of workers! Their courage is an inspiration to many women in tech like myself and I am infuriated by Amazon’s retaliation against them.

Their courage has been inspiring and their firing infuriating, they’ve kickstarted something good and some awareness in its people.
— System Development Engineer

It’s inexplicable that Amazon would try to silence employees that are trying to protect and raise up their colleagues on the front lines of a deadly pandemic. Not only will Amazon NOT silence us, but we will rise up even louder than ever before. Emily and Maren, with their bravery and selfless acts, has inspired more from all of us. We have their backs, just like they had ours.
— Financial Analyst

Employees should not be fired for voicing their opinions about a company’s malpractices. Amazon should be held responsible and should never be able to get away with this again.
— Program Manager

I support Maren and Emily because they are fighting not only to make Amazon a better company, but to make our planet livable. When Amazon sees women lead, they are silenced. Amazon’s emissions have only increased since the climate pledge, and these two helped sound the alarm on this crisis. Emily and Maren, I am so inspired by your leadership and taking a stand against a giant like Amazon. We are here with you. Thank you.
— Software Development Engineer

They did what was right at tremendous personal cost. This retaliation goes against one of the two newest leadership principles: Strive to be Earth’s Best Employer and Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility. Maren and Emily embodied “broad responsibility” for our climate, for the communities most affected by climate change and for our employees. When they showed a bias for action/and disagree & commit in correcting this, Amazon retaliated in a way that is illegal and which drew the attention Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris. This is NOT how you “strive to be the earth’s best employer.” Quite the opposite. Others have quit out of anger over this, and I know others who have considered it. Amazon’s actions have consequences and I hope this hypocrisy becomes clear in court. Employees are pushing the company to do better and this is not how you treat them when they do.
— Sr. Program Manager

It is now more than ever that we have to flip the tables and disrupt the status quo. This is exactly how we can do this, through the brave leadership of you and others like you. Thank you, Emily & Maren!!! Stay strong!!! You got this!!!
— Program Manager

Amazon has become a better company because Emily and Maren were leaders here. Supporting justice and diversity within our workplace means supporting the women who speak up when we need to do better, not retaliating against them.
— Software Development Engineer

They have taken a stand for climate justice for everyone. Maren and Emily aren’t anomalies — they represent thousands and thousands of people.
— Technical writer

You all provided a courageous example to those of us still here. I can’t imagine what going through this has been like in the midst of a pandemic, and even if Goliath wins in court, you have added so much backpressure to the progress. I hope you are staying encouraged and centered and grateful. ❤

I was in their exact same shoes. It takes an insane amount of strength courage and endurance to go up against one of the most powerful companies in the world. It is so worth it though coming out on the other side. Now more than ever, we need more brave individuals like Maren and Emily to show others that our voices will not be silenced. We will not be bullied and pushed into a corner when continued injustices keep facing those who just want to earn a living like everyone else.
— Ex-AWS

I support Maren and Emily because tech companies cannot be allowed to continue silencing women who are simply trying to do the right thing and hold their employers accountable. Because of Amazon’s incredible hypocrisy when it claims to care about Diversity and Inclusion, or being Earth’s best employer or wanting employees to be leaders while it punishes women who speak up for the planet’s future and try to make Amazon better. Because they had the courage to stand up for their beliefs and stand up to one of the biggest corporations in the world, they deserve our enthusiastic support.
— Software Development Engineer

Employees deserve a voice in how Amazon is run. Management is not acting with the speed or scale needed to tackle the climate crisis.
— SDE 2

Amazon’s illegal retaliation against Emily and Maren was a chilling event, and it’s crucial that we turn the narrative around — they acted legally and bravely, and Amazon cannot stand in the way of workers pushing for climate justice and organizing for a better world. I stand by them and I’m inspired by their resilience to keep doing the work.
— Catalog Specialist

Maren and Emily courageously stood up for fellow Amazon employees, and were unfairly retaliated for it. Workers should have the right to organize other workers to improve working conditions.
— Software Development Engineer II

I love working at Amazon, but I’m frustrated and angry that Maren and Emily were fired for speaking out about ways Amazon can do better. We can, and we should, do better by our employees and our customers!
— Principal UX Designer

Amazon illegally retaliated against employees Doing The Right Thing and taking Bias For Action.

I believe that no one should be fired for attempting to hold their employer accountable and that the work Maren and Emily were and are doing is vital to all of us having a just and livable future on this planet.
— Solutions Architect

I care about the climate and diversity and I think Amazon should take a much more proactive stance on this topic.
— Solutions Architect

If we keep firing people who speak for the right things, we will soon beome a company of apathetic, money-minded people. And we are not far away from it.
— Senior Software Engineer

Silencing dissenting voices goes against Amazon’s leadership principles that the company leaders cherish so much. Emily and Maren were brave to say openly what a lot of employees already think.
— Anonymous

They did the right thing for the right reason.
— Anonymous

They were brave and pioneered a new way of talking about climate justice at Amazon.
— Sr. Program Manager, Books Tech

They are pushing Amazon to live up to its stated leadership principles, especially the two newest ones. Worker dignity and safety matters. The livability of the planet matters. Punishing employees for pointing out hypocrisy and opportunities to do better is small-minded.
— Partner Business Operations Manager

Emily and Maren took on considerable risk to advocate for what is right. I’m inspired by their courage and will not stay silent against Amazon’s illegal retaliation against them. As leaders, we must encourage and protect diverse voices to challenge ourselves to do better. Emily and Maren have been vital leaders in pushing Amazon to do better in climate, and to continue applying this pressure, we have to have each other’s backs.
— Software Development Engineer

I support Maren and Emily because they took a stand against a powerful company. They inspire me to scrutinize the company to the same standard it expects of its employees. The move by Amazon to fire these brave woman for expressing an important viewpoint does not Earn Trust!
— Software Development Engineer

I’ve been inspired by Maren & Emily to fight for Climate Justice at Amazon. I wouldn’t have felt like I could make a difference at Amazon if I hadn’t heard their voices in the fight for a more just world.
— Software Development Engineer

They spoke out against Amazon when no one else was, now they’re being reprimanded for trying to hold Amazon accountable. They deserve compensation for being retaliated against and Amazon does not deserve to treat its employees so poorly. As a 4+ year Amazon employee I continuously struggle ethically to keep working here while I see the terrible socioeconomic and environmental damage Amazon does.
— Data Specialist

They were incredibly brave to stand up for what’s important — protecting the earth that we all love — when it wasn’t easy, and setting an incredible example for women everywhere.
— Program Manager

They had the guts to speak frankly and loudly about the most pertinent issue of our time, alongside correct concerns about the well-being of staff in our warehouses during the most difficult period any of us have ever faced. In Amazon terms, their dismissal showed a huge disparity between all of the many data points published on how well Amazon is already executing or planning to execute it’s climate pledge, and how it actually listens to the concerns raised by those brave enough to pull the andon chord. Whatever the outcome of the court case, Maren and Emily have won by doing the right thing even in the face of bad old-fashioned intimidation and victimisation.
— Programme Manager

As a women of color in tech, I am furious to see Amazon not take accountability for how it disproportionately harms communities of color. Emily and Maren are brave to take on a large corporation with power and influence on it’s side. Amazon unlawfully retaliated against these women who encouraged their company to do better. Amazon needs to do much, much better.
— Research Program Manager

We need people to stand up — if no one does, things can only get worse.
— Software Development Engineer

The message they stand by matters and their effort is especially respectable. Ever since they voiced their concerns and recommended areas of improvement with data, we see Amazon’s increasing effort in combating climate change. Undeniably, Maren and Emily played a crucial role in pivoting this company’s history and role in our society. It’s a shame that the company failed to partner with this passionate duo properly when we had the chance to do so.
— Tech Recruiter

Both are strong enough to speak up for their own rights and make use of their freedom to express their opinion against all odds! The world should have more brave people like you!
— Anonymous

I am with you guys on it. If there is a wrong doing, i want you guys to go against it and fight it tooth and nail. I am unfortunately on a Visa and all my courage gets diluted as my job is what keeps me in my house. But you inspire us.
— Technical Program Manager

Amazon’s illegal actions should not and can not stand. You have my full support, let’s show Amazon and all tech companies they cannot retaliate against free speech.
— Program Manager

Climate change, climate justice, and worker conditions are some of the most important issues in existence. Win or lose, I believe Maren and Emily are trying to hold Amazon to account, and insisting on the highest standards.

Thank you for being brave and taking on the weight of the world which women have done for centuries. Keep fighting the good fight for positive change for all.
— Senior Brand Manager

What Amazon did was completely unethical. It’s disappointing to see big companies like Amazon trying to curb voices on climate change when they could be leading the industry in being environmentally sustainable.

It takes guts to stand up to a corporate bully with limitless resources. Thank you.
— Senior UX Designer

I support Maren and Emily because they stood up for what’s right.
— Sr. Software Dev Engineer

Amazon sent a clear message that employees should fall in line when it comes to controversial issues. I used to feel safe criticizing Amazon honestly and fairly. Now I’m afraid to call out Amazon. This is sad in a company which prides itself on a culture of accountability.
— Software Development Engineer

They stood up for our essential workers during the pandemic and pushed Amazon to change their climate goals and timeline to the benefit of literally all life on this planet. It was all within their legally protected rights as workers and I am proud to say I worked with them and supported their organizing efforts!
— QA Engineer

We all live on the same planet!

It’s scary when your employer will fire even corporate employees to protect its labor extraction of warehouse workers. And the fact that the only ones who were fired were women? That’s going to set back diversity in the workplace. Even those who believe Maren and Emily were rightly terminated are now less likely pursue careers in tech.

Amazon needs to be reined in, and can’t illegally squash those who speak out.
— Sr. Manufacturing Test Engineer

I know firsthand how toxic Amazon can be and the ways so-called “leadership” squashes dissent at all levels. Maren and Emily are the real leaders and I stand in solidarity with them!
— Fmr. SDE

Hey you two! Stay strong and fight for your rights! Here in Germany we are watching your case. “More than machinary we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost…”
— Anonymous

I support Maren and Emily because Amazon must own up to its environmental and social impact and must listen to its employees rather than shutting them down.
— Software Development Engineer

I admire their bravery for speaking up and caring for the well-being of their colleagues, despite a personal cost to them.
— Team Manager EU VSP

Maren and Emily are heroes who stay true to their principles even when it threatens their livelihood.
— Software Development Engineer

Unlike many that keep quiet, Maren and Emily were brave and stood up for their beliefs so that others would be inspired and could join in their voices feeling validated and strengthened by the collective will to drive change.
— Snr. Product Manager

Keep strong Maren and Emily! You are on the right side of history. And have most of Amazon behind you!
— Senior Product Manager

If Amazon’s internal culture is strong for many reasons, it can — and must not — fall into its own trap: uniformity. Which, by definition, kills creative thinking. Maren and Emily remind and inspire us to think twice, think again, and not think for just oneself — but rather think together. Amazon must never quench that. Thanks for your courage.
— Senior Sales Account Manager

They showed the courage to support Amazon’s workers, and are showing even more courage now in holding Amazon accountable for their retaliatory actions.
— Sr. Technical Product Manager

They’re representing Amazon’s entire workforce. Best of luck!

They made me feel included in the group. They inspired me to want to take action. They made me feel less alone and that we had power to make things better.
— Anonymous

We support Maren and Emily
— Sr. Software Development Engineer

Emily and Maren, your courage to stand up to Amazon has inspired us all to exercise the power we have as workers. Solidarity with your fight, we have your back!
— Software Development Engineer II

When I joined Amazon, Emily and Maren’s leadership was an inspiration for me, especially as a woman tech worker. Not long after, Amazon illegally fired them for their leadership, just because Amazon didn’t like what they were saying. Solidarity with Emily and Maren! We need more workers like you ❤
— Software Engineer

Emily and Maren were illegally fired! I support them in their fight against Amazon and am inspired to make our voices heard
— Software Dev Engineer Test

Workers have a federally protected right to organize collectively around issues in the workplace. I am appalled that Amazon would violate that right in their pursuit to silence dissent from Emily and Maren on such important issues as Amazon’s impact on climate change and the deplorable conditions in Fulfillment Centers.
— Software Development Engineer II

I stand by Emily and Maren along with other employees, hoping for justice.
— Software Development Engineer

I support you! Thank you for fighting for change!
— Software Development Engineer

Emily and Maren showed me that I could stand up for myself even when a massive corporation is against me. They gave me a voice I didn’t know I had. They are both examples of exactly what this generation needs.
— Senior Software Developer

I support you 100%. We’re in this fight with you!
— Software Development Engineer II

I stand with Emily and Maren. The fact that Amazon has illegally retaliated against them should undermine every public statement they’ve made about working conditions.
— Software Development Engineer

As Amazon continues to speak and talk about their “climate pledge” I’m appalled by the illegally retaliated against Emily and Maren for actually taking action. I’m inspired by their courage and have their back!
— Software Development Engineer

I stand with you in your fight to make Amazon a real climate leader.
— Software Development Engineer

From one resistant to another, you both have my full support ✊
— IT

I support you!
— Sr. Software Development Engineer

We stand with Emily and Maren against illegal retaliation!

Where Amazon only pays lip-service and equivocates on climate change, Emily and Maren have exhibited true courage and leadership. They have my support!
— Data Scientist

Emily and Maren are incredibly courageous for all that they have done. I think it’s abhorrent that Amazon has retaliated against them for doing their part to organize and advocate for action against climate change.
— Vendor Manager

Maren & Emily have accomplished so much as leaders of AECJ and as advocates for warehouse workers and others in marginalized communities. Their work has blazed a path for the rest of us to follow, and I’m excited to keep working together with my coworkers to call Amazon’s bluff when the company tries to wriggle out of standing up for the values it claims to uphold. And they’ll be formidable to face in court! If Amazon’s lawyers aren’t terrified, then they don’t know what they’ve gotten themselves into. :)
— Senior Software Engineer

We’re with you and good luck!
— Software Development Engineer II

I stand with Emily and Maren in supporting the rights of my fellow Amazon colleagues! We need better leadership and structural changes.
— Support Engineer

Solidarity with Emily and Maren.
— Software Developer

I support Emily and Maren for many reasons. In the end, they were doing exactly as Amazon culture had poised and prompted them to do — always raise the bar. But with these high standards, Amazon leadership does not agree. We employees deserve a say in these large impacting decisions, especially in these cases where the actions (or lack there of) will impact many future generations to come, and ultimately the survival of our entire species. It pains me to know that Amazon is one of the innovative companies that could be leading by example here, yet they continue to choose not to.
— Software Development Engineer II