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Senior Amazon Engineer and VP Protests Over Labor Practices. Quits Company

Saad Ullah



A senior Amazon Vice President and software engineer has resigned from his job in a protest against the unethical labor practices by the company.

Bye, Amazon

Tim Bray, in a blog post titled “Bye, Amazon wrote that the Labor Day was the last day of his in the office. According to the senior engineer, he had snapped on knowing that Amazon had fired two employees, Maren Costa and Emily Cunningham. The employees were fired by the company after they had protested the culture at Amazon and its treatment of warehouse workers due to the corona virus pandemic.

In the blog, Bray defended his decision saying,

“I quit in dismay at Amazon firing whistleblowers who were making noise about employees frightened of Covid-19. Remaining an Amazon VP would have meant, in effect, signing off on actions I despised. So I resigned.”

Amazon had said that it had fired the employees after they had refused to stop and “repeatedly violating internal policies”. Bray had previously written a letter to Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon and the members of the Board, calling the management to create a culture change. The letter was signed by more than 8,700 people.

Amazon Continues Firing

Amazon has been lately firing its warehouse employees who are criticizing the working conditions they are forced to work in during the corona virus pandemic. Last month, Amazon had also fired another employee, Chris Smalls, a warehouse worker who was responsible for leading a strike in its Staten Island warehouse.

Smalls insists that his firing was due to the strike, protesting about the conditions. Amazon, on the other hand, said that the employee was fired because he refused to observe social distancing rules enforced to combat the spread of the virus. According to the company, the employee was ordered to go in quarantine as he was exposed earlier to the virus as he was in proximity to another employee who had been tested positive. His actions would have resulted in danger of other employees catching the virus.

Amazon has invested in a significant amount to ensure its employees have the necessary personal protective equipment and facilities so that they can work in a safe environment. This includes installing hygiene stations, reminding employees wash their hands regularly and even practicing social distancing. Amazon has said that it will invest its second quarter profit in corona virus mitigation efforts, like purchasing safety equipment and more testing kits. The second quarter profits are expected to be to the tune of USD 4 billion.

Bray says that he has a firm believe that Amazon has implemented the strategies and he has had detailed descriptions of those from the people who he trusts. However, he also said that repeated protests and whistle blowers from the warehouse departments shows that there is more to that and that there is a serious cause of concern.

“At the end of the day, the big problem isn’t the specifics of the Covid-19 response. It’s that Amazon treats the humans in the warehouses as fungible units of pick-and-pack potential.”


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