Amazon Sick Out Friday 4/24 9am — 5pm PST. Support Amazon workers & tell Amazon: stop retaliating against workers speaking up

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We want Amazon to stop firing and start listening to workers!

Join the Livestream to hear from Amazon workers and special guests! Here’s the lineup:

  • 9am PST: Opening by Emily Cunningham & Maren Costa, tech workers fired for speaking up
  • 9–11am PST: Bill McKibben co-founder of 350.org; Center for Community Action on Environmental Justice; Fridays For Future; Amazon warehouse workers from Europe
  • 11–1pm PST: A conversation with fired tech workers Emily and Maren; Dr. Michael Mann; Rebecca Nagle; Amazon tech workers; Amazon warehouse workers from EU and US
  • 1–3pm PST: Rich Trumka; Naomi Klein; Dr. Julia Steinberger; youth climate activists; Indigenous & climate activists
  • 3–5pm: Robert Reich; frontline healthcare & caregivers; Amazon warehouse workers from the US

Amazon Employees for Climate Justice is calling on tech workers to take a paid day off as protest for the firings and silencing, and to pressure for better conditions for our warehouse coworkers, including paid leave for all.

On Friday from 9am to 5pm PST we will host a livestream, including:

  • Talks from climate and thought leaders, including Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben, Robert Reich, Rebecca Nagle, and more special guests!
  • Stories from warehouse workers about what it’s like on the ground right now
  • Fired tech workers, Maren & Emily, will answer more questions about what’s happened and their thoughts on the situation
  • Discussions about the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, racism, censorship, and Amazon
  • Fun activities throughout the day

Amazon has fired Maren & Emily as well as several warehouse workers for speaking up for safety in the warehouses during this pandemic. Amazon has also censored Amazon Employees for Climate Justice’s attempts to connect warehouse workers with tech workers for open dialog. This is not the time to silence those who are speaking up for a better, more equitable world.

Amazon’s retaliation against workers and its censorship is a gross misuse of power. We demand that Amazon make it right:

  1. Make it right with workers who were fired, and make changes to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Amazon must never silence workers who speak out on matters of life and death. The essential workers who run its digital and physical infrastructures deserve respect, not punishment, for speaking up and caring for each other.
    * Immediately reinstate any worker who was fired based on selective enforcement of policies and behavior guidelines, and who wants their job back.
    * Change the solicitation and external communications policies to not punish workers who are speaking up, in their own capacity and not on behalf of the company, about issues that directly impact the health and safety of workers and customers, including pandemic working conditions, climate crisis, and pollution.
    * Commit to enforcing rules fairly and transparently, including hearings before issuing discipline, providing substantial proof for discipline, not selectively enforcing rules, and making discipline proportional to the gravity and circumstances of the situation.
  2. Continue to strengthen efforts to minimize contagion, and make permanent the temporary workplace improvements Amazon has implemented during the pandemic. This pandemic is a blueprint for how we will handle the increasing crises of the climate emergency; we need long term changes that support the most marginalized in our inequitable economic system, and that leverage Amazon’s infrastructure toward providing emergency relief.
    * Publicly disclose the company’s protocol for tracking and reporting COVID-19 cases, providing a list of confirmed and probable cases of infection and death among all full-time, part-time and contract workers, by facility.
    * Publicly clarify the company’s criteria for prioritizing essential shipments throughout its global network, and suspend deliveries of nonessential goods in countries where it has not already.
    * Pay a living wage to every hourly worker, starting with making the $2 pandemic wage increase permanent for all workers globally.
    * Paid sick leave for all workers every year, including a minimum of two weeks not based on accrual of work hours.
    * End punishment based on not meeting rate. Workers need enough time for keeping their work practices safe and healthy every day, not only during a pandemic.
    * Keep the extra 5 minutes for paid breaks. We always need enough time to rest our bodies and properly care for health and safety.
  3. Make commitments to climate justice, responding at the scale and urgency of the crisis and addressing the racial equity gap that Amazon’s current Climate Pledge doesn’t consider. The pandemic is revealing how crises impact people disproportionately, and we need to center the most vulnerable in our climate plans.
    * Zero emissions by 2030 while investing first in the communities most impacted by Amazon’s pollution, which are disproportionately communities of color.
    * Require Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs) for all new development projects, which include legally-enforceable goals for clean air and good jobs, starting with the CBA that San Bernardino residents are fighting for.
    * Integrate Racial Equity Impact Assessments into business decisions.

On Friday, April 10, Amazon Employees for Climate Justice (AECJ) sent a meeting invitation to fellow Amazon employees for a livestream event connecting tech workers to warehouse workers to hear from them about conditions in warehouses during COVID-19. Just hours after the invitation was sent, Amazon fired Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa, two leaders with AECJ. Amazon then deleted the meeting & details from employee calendars, after over 1,500 Amazon employees had accepted the invitation.

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?

Amazon likely hopes that firing Maren and Emily will stop the climate movement and employee pressure at Amazon. They are wrong. The urgency of the climate crisis means we cannot stop until Amazon is truly a zero emission company and until Amazon is a place where employees who express their views for how our company can be better, are not punished, but celebrated.

Fellow Amazon employees: We are asking you to take a PTO day for the Sick Out on Friday, April 24th to show that you believe Amazon can, and should, do better.

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