Last October, two Amazon employees — Maren Costa (UX designer) and Jamie Kowalski (software engineer) spoke on the record to the Washington Post about their employer's complicity in the climate crisis, including the provision of cloud computing services to energy company in search of new sources of fossil fuels.
Amazon threatened to fire them. Rather than shutting up, the two employees recruited fellow members of Amazon Employees for Climate Justice to publish 357 on-the-record, attributed condemnations of Amazon's climate policies from current Amazon tech workers.
It's the latest installment in the tech worker uprising in which tech workers are realizing that the high demand for their skills and massive talent shortage gives them incredible leverage over their employers. Tech workers are a critical part of the fight for a better world, because they can both hold their employers to account and provide accurate assessments of the culture, choices and decisions that feed into our current tech landscape.
"Amazon's main principle is Customer Obsession, it is time to broaden it and get obsessed with Humanity. Collaborating all together we can save our Planet. With great power comes great responsibility — Amazon should make drastic changes in the way it operates, shift company goals and values to be an example for other corporations. Amazon's order of 100,000 electric vans is the right move for our supply chain's future and is also a step in the right direction that sends a signal to the market to help the transition to clean technology. Well done! At the same time, Amazon should end its contracts with oil and gas companies. Our AI and ML are being used for 'finding oil,' 'producing oil,' and 'optimizing production' (source: AWS Oil & Gas public website)."
— Mila Rahman, DSP Payments Lead
Amazon Employees Share Our Views on Company Business [Amazon Employees for Climate Justice/Medium]
Amazon employees launch mass defiance of company communications policy in support of colleagues [Jay Greene/Washington Post]