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San Francisco, May 31 – Around 2,000 Amazon employees were set to participate in a walk-out in front of Amazon’s Spheres building in the heart of its headquarters in Seattle protesting against layoffs and return-to-work mandate.
Amazon mandated its return-to-office policy from May 1, with employees required to be back in offices at least three days per week. The e-commerce giant has also laid off 27,000 employees in two job cut announcements.
“The walkout is on! About 1,816 employees have pledged to walk out around the world so far, with 873 in Seattle. Please join 1,816 of our coworkers (and counting) and pledge to walk out,” said Amazon Employees for Climate Justice (AECJ) and Amazon’s Remote Advocacy community leaders.
“Employees need a say in decisions that affect our lives such as the return-to-work mandate, and how our work is being used to accelerate the climate crisis,” they added.
An Amazon spokesperson told GeekWire that they are always listening and will continue to do so.
“We’re happy with how the first month of having more people back in the office has been. There’s more energy, collaboration, and connections happening, and we’ve heard this from lots of employees and the businesses that surround our offices,” said the company spokesperson.
“We understand that it’s going to take time to adjust back to being in the office more and there are a lot of teams at the company working hard to make this transition as smooth as possible for employees,” the spokesperson added.
However, thousands of corporate and tech employees weren’t thrilled to return to work and joined an internal Slack channel to protest the policy.
“This is about Amazon going in the wrong direction, and losing trust. We want what’s best for Amazon. Long-term thinking and employee voices are a significant component of the Day 1 culture that’s turned Amazon into such a successful company, and we’re trying to reignite it,” Amazon Employees for Climate Justice and Amazon Remote Advocacy said in a statement.
“Day 1” is a reference to a mantra touted by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who stepped down as CEO in 2021 but remains chairman.
Amazon employs more than 65,000 corporate workers in the Seattle region.