Guest essay by Eric Worrall
As well as selling stuff, Amazon is a major player in the cloud computing market. They help clients eliminate the hassle of managing their own computer hardware.
This hard won reputation for quiet, non-judgemental and reliable service is now under threat, from employees who demand Amazon apply a climate morality test to people with whom Amazon does business.
Hundreds of Amazon employees put jobs at risk by criticizing firm’s climate change policy
Hundreds of employees published comments highlighting the company’s work with oil and gas companies
By James Vincent Jan 27, 2020, 8:44am EST
Hundreds of Amazon workers are speaking out against their employer’s record on climate change, risking being fired to defy a company-wide ban against such public criticism.
The group Amazon Employees for Climate Justice published comments from 357 workers on Sunday, many of which highlight what workers see as Amazon’s hypocrisy. The company has pledged to use only renewable energy sources in the future and cut its carbon emissions, but it continues to work with and improve the businesses of oil and gas companies.
“The science on climate change is clear,” writes Amelia Graham-McCann, a senior business analyst at the company. “It is unconscionable for Amazon to continue helping the oil and gas industry extract fossil fuels while trying to silence employees who speak out.”
“I want Amazon to continue its vision to be Earth’s most customer-centric company,” writes Melissa Reeder, a senior UX designer. “By ending our contracts with oil and gas companies, we can show the world we put people over profits and be a leader against climate change.”
…Read more: https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/27/21083330/amazon-employees-criticize-climate-change-oil-gas-work-risk
I cannot emphasise how potentially damaging this employee protest movement is to Amazon’s reputation.
Handing another company the task of maintaining key internal computer infrastructure is an enormous act of trust. Amazon has been tremendously successful in convincing large numbers of companies that there is no downside to letting Amazon handle their computer hardware, letting Amazon’s clients focus on getting the software right.
If companies now have to start worrying about whether their most sensitive infrastructure could be threatened at any time, by activist Amazon employees who take a sudden dislike to their business, Amazon’s entire cloud computing business model could collapse.