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Amazon workers warned after speaking out on climate impact

Tom Shearsmith
06 January 2020

Retail giant Amazon has warned staff they may face dismissal if they continue to discuss the firm’s climate impact with the media without its authorisation.

The company has reportedly opened up investigations into a select group of employees who have called for action publicly from their employer. Workers received internal warnings that whilst their comments would not yet be punished, future attempts “may result in formal corrective action”, including a termination of contract.

The company has reiterated that its external communications policy was updated approximately one year ago, and subsequent changes were not introduced to deter any particular group of employees.

The Amazon Employees for Climate Justice campaign group has been a catalyst for change at the company, as CEO Jeff Bezos publicly emphasised Amazon's commitment to climate change in September 2019 with a pledge to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement by 2040, 10 years ahead of schedule.

The company has still not acquiesced to its employees' demands, and specifically refused the request to end its contracts with fossil fuel companies.

Amazon data engineer Justin Campbell said in a statement released through Amazon Employees for Climate Justice: "Amazon's policy is not going to stop the momentum tech workers have built over the past year at Amazon. The climate crisis is the greatest challenge we face and the only way we can find solutions is by protecting people's right to speak freely and disrupting the status quo."

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