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Amazon Employees Silenced Over Climate Concerns

Writer Ben Dolbear looks at the decision by one of the world's largest companies to silence employees on climate change action.

Photo by Daniel Eledut

A group of Amazon employees has gone public in claiming that Amazon, the multinational corporation worth over $900 billion, of attempting to silence them on climate change.

Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, a group of Amazon workers who believe that it is their duty to ensure that the company's business model does not contribute further to the climate emergency, have claimed that legal and HR representatives have contacted several of its members saying that they were in breach of Amazon's policy on external communications.

Maren Costa, who works in user experience design at Amazon, said in a statement that, '[t]his is not the time to shoot the messengers. This is not the time to silence those who are speaking out'.

Bernie Sanders, Senator for the US state of Vermont and presidential candidate, has expressed support for the campaign by hiring two of its representatives to be in his latest campaign advertisement.

Employees who have been calling for Amazon to do considerably more on climate change, particularly in relation to CEO Jeff Bezos' commitment to unsustainable fossil fuel extraction, are, according to Amazon, in breach of an established rule which states that employees cannot make public comments in relation to the company.

However, an Amazon Employees for Climate Justice spokesperson has claimed that Amazon changed their policy in September in response to the activists' public criticism. Employees, according to Amazon spokesperson Jaci Anderson, are now required to fill out a lengthy form on an internal website to seek approval for public commentary.

Last May, thousands of employees were rebuffed by Amazon bosses when they presented proposals for a comprehensive climate change plan to reduce carbon footprint.

Just last week, the Amazon activists claimed that Google and Amazon were working together to help Exxon, the oil and natural resources corporation which infamously ignored its own climate research for decades, to look for new oil in an attempt to 'profit off the planet's destruction'.


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