Around 2,000 Amazon employees planned a walk-out in front of the company’s Spheres building in Seattle to protest against layoffs and the return-to-work directive. Amazon implemented a policy requiring employees to return to the office at least three days a week starting from May 1. The company has also announced job cuts affecting 27,000 employees.
Amazon employees for climate justice (AECJ) and Amazon’s remote advocacy community leaders called for the walk-out, with approximately 1,816 employees worldwide and 873 in Seattle pledging to participate. They emphasised the need for employees to have a say in decisions that impact their lives, such as the return-to-work mandate and the company’s role in exacerbating the climate crisis.
An Amazon spokesperson stated that the company is open to listening to employee concerns. They expressed satisfaction with the initial month of increased office presence, noting improved energy, collaboration, and connections. The spokesperson acknowledged the adjustment period for employees and mentioned ongoing efforts to facilitate a smooth transition.
However, many corporate and tech employees expressed dissatisfaction with the return-to-work policy and joined an internal Slack channel to protest. Amazon employees for climate justice and Amazon remote advocacy released a statement, highlighting their desire for Amazon to uphold its long-term thinking and embrace employee voices, which are integral to the company’s success and its ‘Day 1’ culture. ‘Day 1’ refers to a principle championed by Jeff Bezos, founder, Amazon.
It is important to note that Amazon employs over 65,000 corporate workers in the Seattle region.