A vice president (VP) at Amazon Web Services quit his job because the company sacked workers who criticised it over coronavirus safety measures. Tim Bray in a blog post described the firings as “evidence of a vein of toxicity running through the company culture.”
“Remaining an Amazon VP would have meant, in effect, signing off on actions I despised. So I resigned. The victims weren’t abstract entities but real people; here are some of their names: Courtney Bowden, Gerald Bryson, Maren Costa, Emily Cunningham, Bashir Mohammed, and Chris Smalls,” Bray wrote.
Bray said Amazon had also fired staff for organising another protest against its practices on climate issues. He says he “snapped” at that point but not before raising his concerns internally. He quit after that.
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Bray acknowledges that working with Amazon was “rewarding fun” and his decision would come with some financial implications.
“What with big-tech salaries and share vestings, this will probably cost me over a million (pre-tax) dollars, not to mention the best job I’ve ever had, working with awfully good people. So I’m pretty blue,” he further wrote.
Amazon is not doing enough
Amazon has drawn criticism for how it has treated its warehouse workers who protested against the company. The workers protested their lack of protective equipment, demanding safer working conditions.
Eight employees were fired in April 2020 as they protested the company’s treatment of its workers amid the pandemic.
Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos last week said the company would spend $4 billion in the next quarter on COVID-19 related expenses. But Bray says Amazon has not done enough so far and the pandemic exposes a previous structural problem at the company.
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