More than 900 Amazon employees plan strike over climate change inaction

Democracy Now!/YouTube

Democracy Now!/YouTube

Amazon's strike will coincide with a 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg's Global Climate Strike beginning on September 20 as well. However, it's making big demands.

So far, 941 employees have pledged to join the walkout, which is calling on Amazon to help stop climate change by cutting all carbon emissions by 2030.

The employees are preparing the protest after more than 8,000 workers signed an open letter in April, urging Amazon to adopt a plan to eventually drop fossil fuels. And the group wants the company to test electric vehicles in cities that are most affected by the company's environmental impact.

"E$3 ven that 50% does not necessarily mean a decrease in emissions compared to current levels: given Amazon's rate of growth, 50% net-zero shipments in 2030 could still be an increase in emissions compared to today", the group notes.

In May, as Common Dreams reported, AECJ put forth a resolution at Amazon's annual shareholder meeting demanding a "company-wide climate plan" to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. "We pride ourselves on being a leader", they wrote in the blog post. "But in the face of the climate crisis, a true leader is one who reaches zero emissions first, not one who slides in at the last possible moment".

Amazon employees continue their push against the company's climate change stance.

A spokesperson for Amazon said the company is already "playing a significant role in helping to reduce the sources of human-induced climate change".

Amazon cites its launch in early 2019 of "Shipment Zero", a plan to reduce its carbon emissions for half of its shipments to zero by 2030, as proof of its work toward combating climate change.

"Over the past decade through our sustainable packaging programs, we've eliminated more than 244,000 tons of packaging materials and avoided 500 million shipping boxes", a statement said. It has an 85-person team devoted to improving its packaging.

An advocacy group called Amazon Employees for Climate Justice organized the walkout. Amazon CEO and world's richest man Jeff Bezos refused to emerge from backstage as his employees called on the mega-billionaire to back the resolution, which ultimately failed. The organization says it is the first walkout in tech industry history over climate change. "There are a lot of initiatives underway, and we're not done".

"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", Weston Fribley, a software engineer who has worked at Amazon for over four years, told Wired.

Latest News