Over 1,000 Amazon Employees Set To Join Climate Strike

Amazon employees are planning a walk-out on September 20th to join young people on strike against the climate crisis, with over 1,000 agreeing to do so thus far.

Jeff Bezos’ company is worth $1 trillion, so it certainly has the money and the clout to lead the way in the fight against climate change if it chose to do so. Employees for the company have been trying to get Amazon on board for months, even writing up a manifesto of sorts detailing what policies the company can adopt to be more environmentally friendly and embrace the green revolution.

Well over 3,000 Amazon employees participated in that call for action, but company leadership rejected it.

Now over a 1,000 of them are prepared to walk out and join a climate strike on September 20th, the first time any Amazon employees have ever gone on strike since it was founded 25 years ago.

“Students and young people around the world have been striking on Fridays for a livable planet and bold climate action. Now, they want adults to join them!” Amazon Employees for Climate Justice wrote in a blog this week.

As employees at one of the largest and most powerful companies in the world, our role in facing the climate crisis is to ensure our company is leading on climate, not following. We have to take responsibility for the impact that our business has on the planet and on people.

Amazon has the resources and scale to spark the world’s imagination and redefine what is possible and necessary to address the climate crisis. Our walkout on September 20th demonstrates the commitment of Amazon employees and calls on leadership to join us in this commitment.

As part of the strike, the workers are demanding Amazon adopt three primary policies they suggested earlier, including zero emissions by 2030, ending contracts with the fossil fuel industry and withdrawing funding from anti-environmental lobbyists and politicians.

It’s really that simple, and the company can easily afford it.

Most importantly, the planet needs it.

“It’s incredibly important that we show up and support the youth who are organizing this kind of thing because I think it’s really important to show them, hey, you have allies in tech,” Amazon software engineer Weston Fribley told Wired.

Amazon employee and walk-out organizer Rebecca Sheppard explained to The Guardian that she and her colleagues were inspired by Greta Thunberg, a young climate activist who has made an impact around the world.

“As soon as Greta Thunberg called for a global climate strike, AECJ members wanted to know how we could help,” Sheppard said. “We also needed to escalate our campaign. We’ve been seeing management listen but we haven’t seen management understand. They’re not giving us concrete commitments. They’re not feeling the urgency.”

“There’s so many tools and capabilities within Amazon that it can really be a leader in this,” Twitch product designer Danilo Quilaton added. “That’s all I want as an employee of Amazon—to work for a company that’s taking climate change seriously and leading the push forward.”

In a statement, Amazon claimed to be a leader in battling climate change.

“Playing a significant role in helping to reduce the sources of human-induced climate change is an important commitment for Amazon,” the company said. “We have dedicated sustainability teams who have been working for years on initiatives to reduce our environmental impact.”

Of course, actions speak louder than words. If Amazon really cares about stopping climate change, it would adopt these policies and throw its full weight into the fight to save the world. After all, its namesake rainforest is on fire in Brazil and companies won’t make any money if there is nobody around to be a customer.

Featured Image: Wikimedia

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Stephen D. Foster Jr.

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