Amazon Employees Join Sept. 20 Global Climate Walkout

More than 1,000 Amazon employees plan to walk out of work on Sept. 20 in support of a global climate strike.

For more than a year, teen activist Greta Thunberg has been leading students and young people in weekly school climate strikes.

Now, they want adults to join the fight.

“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,” Amazon Employees For Climate Justice wrote in a Monday blog post.

The group, whose aim is to “ensure our business models don’t contribute to the climate crisis,” has invited workers across the world to band together next Friday in hopes of appealing to company CEO Jeff Bezos.

Last year, Amazon teamed with Procter & Gamble and Hasbro to reinvent boxes, reduce waste, and simplify packaging. It also boasts a network of solar and wind farms, as well as solar fulfillment center rooftops.

And in February, the firm announced a new initiative to reach 50 percent carbon neutral shipments by 2030.

That’s not good enough, though, for many employees, who claim Amazon pollutes communities with fossil fuels, bolsters the petroleum industry, and funds climate deniers.

Bezos & Co. “must demonstrate real climate leadership,” the group said, by committing to:

  • Zero emissions within a decade (and pilot electric vehicles in communities most impacted by pollution)
  • Zero custom Amazon Web Services contracts for fossil fuel firms accelerating oil and gas extraction
  • Zero funding for anyone who dismisses climate change

“Amazon has the resources and scale to spark the world’s imagination and redefine what is possible and necessary to address the climate crisis,” the blog post said.

Climate science suggests that the world needs to reach net zero emissions by 2050 to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Next Friday’s strike marks the first time Amazon workers at corporate offices are walking out; it is also the tech industry’s first revolt over the climate crisis.

“I’m proud that Amazon is one of the most innovative companies, and that means we can be a leader on climate,” Roshni Naidu, senior technical product manager at the Seattle headquarters, said in a statement. “As a leader, we need to reach zero first and not be a company who slides in at the last possible deadline.

“This walkout is about telling our business and political leaders that we demand urgent action at the scale of the crisis,” she added.

Employees will leave work to join youth-led, city-wide actions in their respective locations.

Seattle-based staffers are set to walk out at 11:30 a.m., gathering with other tech workers for climate-related activities before marching to join youth groups and the community at City Hall for a rally.

Microsoft workers, meanwhile, will also be joining millions of folks around the globe by participating in the Sept. 20 strike.

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