Speech on Environmental Racism at Amazon’s 2020 Annual Meeting

Amazon tech workers, together with our partners at Center for Community Action on Environmental Justice (CCAEJ), filed a resolution asking Amazon’s Board to address environmental racism. Read more here.

If you work at Amazon, visit https://bit.ly/AECJ-updates to get future updates from Amazon Employees for Climate Justice

This is our speech during Amazon’s annual shareholder meeting on May 27th, 2020:

I’m Maren Costa, on behalf of Amazon Employees for Climate Justice.

Jeff, I worked for you for 15 years, but I and 8 others were recently fired, and VP Tim Bray resigned citing a “vein of toxicity” running through the company.

This toxicity showed up in a Senior Leadership meeting with racist comments and a plan to smear Chris Smalls. Toxicity is embedded in our operations as pollution causes stunted lung development, asthma, and higher death rates from Covid-19 concentrated in black and brown communities. This is environmental racism.

We want zero emissions by 2030 while investing first in the communities most impacted. We want Racial Equity Assessments and Community Benefits Agreements to be mandatory.

Let’s hear from a family in San Bernardino California, Amazon’s western hub, where air quality is already the worst in the nation.

Hello, my name is Amy,

and I’m April

We live in San Bernardino with my mom who is an Amazon warehouse worker.

The virus has us staying up to make sure my mom gets home safe from work. We have to wait an hour while she disinfects her clothes and shoes, washes herself and changes into new clothes.

It’s hard seeing her like this. But I know she is doing it to protect us.

We have asthma. A lot of our friends have asthma. It is normal here. We can’t run without our inhalers.

We have always been at more risk due to the pollution. Amazon has so many warehouses and trucks here. They want to keep growing and take up our airport, doing what they always do, coming in without any benefits to the community.

We know Amazon comes into neighborhoods like ours where a lot of families speak Spanish or are brown and black to put their pollution here.

You can’t say you are fighting climate change if you keep polluting our communities.

We want people to know that Amazon is not safe. Amazon’s trucks and warehouses are affecting a lot of people

My mom is NOT replaceable. Her life is worth more than a $2 raise.

Our communities are NOT replaceable. We need to be able to breathe.

My mom and other families are sacrificing so much. Amazon can give us good jobs and clean air.

[Maren, continued]

Jeff — will you continue to disproportionately pollute black and brown communities? Or will you stand with us, with our essential coworkers, and adopt our resolution?

If you work at Amazon, visit https://bit.ly/AECJ-updates to get future updates from Amazon Employees for Climate Justice