A group of employees of the multinational company Amazon on Thursday accused the company of threatening to fire them for publicly criticizing the company’s policies on the environment and climate change.
The association “Amazon Employees for Climate Justice” issued a statement in which it explained that workers from technology areas of the firm led by Jeff Bezos were contacted by representatives of the legal and human resources departments to ask them for explanations about “comments they had made about Amazon’s responsibility in the global climate emergency”.
“Then some workers received emails threatening them with dismissal if they continued to talk about Amazon’s business,” the employee association said.
Some of the workers who had received threats made their names public in the statement and lamented that the company is “shooting at the messengers” and “silencing those who raise their voices”.
Among the employees who identified themselves by name were a user experience designer, two software engineers, a data engineer and a product manager.
The group of workers also regretted that the company changed its policy on communication with media and social networks in early September, just one day after they announced that they were organizing a protest against climate change.
The new internal policy requires employees to obtain prior approval from the company to speak about Amazon in any public forum if they identify themselves as workers.
The Seattle (Washington state) company denied that there had been a change in policy and that what happened in September was the introduction of a form on an internal website to “facilitate” employees who want to speak publicly about the firm.
In a move that was interpreted as a response to the growing pressure the company is receiving in this area from its employees, on September 19, Bezos announced a commitment to use 100% renewable energy in its global infrastructure by 2030, as well as the purchase of 100,000 electric vehicles.
The Internet sales company also said it will seek to meet the Paris Climate Agreement targets in 2040, a decade earlier than agreed, to become a carbon-neutral company.
The day after Bezos’ announcement, more than 1,000 of the company’s workers temporarily left their jobs to protest the company’s current climate policies.