Amazon Fires Employee Climate Warrior Leaders

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Amazon has finally lost patience with their employee climate warriors, after they extended their activism to include complaining about Amazon’s alleged Coronavirus shortcomings.

Amazon fires employees who spoke out about coronavirus and climate change

By Zoya Teirstein on Apr 14, 2020

Last Friday afternoon, Amazon fired two of its tech employees after they publicly criticized its coronavirus policies. Those employees, Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa, both user experience designers with 21 years of service at the company between them, were among the leaders of an internal worker group formed in December 2018 with the aim of pressuring Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to commit to more ambitious climate targets. The group, Amazon Employees for Climate Justice (AECJ), has recently widened its focus to embrace the struggles of frontline Amazon employees at fulfillment centers across the country.

Cunningham and Costa were fired after they wrote tweets criticizing the company for putting workers and the public at risk and offering to match up to $500 in donations to a fund for Amazon warehouse workers exposed to COVID-19.

Read more: https://grist.org/justice/amazon-fires-employees-who-spoke-out-about-coronavirus-and-climate-change/

Amazon Employees for Climate Justice been making ridiculous demands since at least last September, pressuring Amazon apply a climate morality test to everyone Amazon engages with, so I’m not about to take their Coronavirus claims at face value.

Having said that, employee safety is a hot-button issue, especially so if the concerns about Coronavirus safety are genuine. Even if the concerns are not genuine, wannabe climate warriors might use fake concerns about Coronavirus as cover for disrupting Amazon’s business.

Either way, I doubt we’ve heard the last from Amazon’s employee climate warriors.

121 thoughts on “Amazon Fires Employee Climate Warrior Leaders

  1. Everyone needs to fire people who abuse their ositions to advocate for their personal political ideology

    Freedom of speech is for your own time, and no one is obligated to hire you if you’re a troublemaker.

    Certainly the reverse is exercised. Try being a conservative at a company like Google

  2. Mods. My browser keeps getting highjacked by an “update Adobe” website. They seem to change the name everyday. It only happens on WUWT.com and it continues to happened even if I clear cookies. I wonder if others are having this problem?

      • Thomas, …….. “YES”, I have also been getting “ highjacked” by the aforesaid “update Adobe” website …. plus another one telling me my “McAfee Virus Protection” program needs to be reactivated …… and ya can’t delete them unless you close out WUWT and reopen it.

    • Sounds like a scammer got their code on the advertising server. Happens frequently, unfortunately.

    • Thomas, that kind of thing happens at a lot of websites that go against the leftist agenda, not just WUWT. The severity of it seems to vary, it depends on where you’re at, in my experience.

    • Zero problem here, at work or at home. I use firefox at home with everything turned off. zero problems.

    • Yes I have had that problem for several weeks and only with WUWT. I have cleared cookies and removed flashplayer links in cache, with no effect.

    • I have had zero such problems. (Except for the usual delayed appearance of any posts I submit. I thought WUWT was transitioning to a better comment host system?) FWIW I use Chrome browser on old Win7.

    • I may be really paranoid but I use Firefox with Duckduck Go as my browser with TOR and a VPN to route my internet through never had any problems. Duckduck Go wipes your search history as soon as you close it and never track you unlike Google.

      • I also use Firefox with Duckduck Go as my browser + Adblock Plus + Ghostery, all Free
        that lot slows me down a bit, but overall its a lot faster (& cheaper) than recovering from an attack…don’t ask me how I know !!!!
        Am I paranoid ? …. YES

        • Doesn’t Ad-block track your browsing history which is the reason I use Duckduck.
          There surely must be another ad blocker out there that doesn’t look over your shoulder?
          Why do all I do to prevent tracking and snooping just to give it up to an ad blocker.

          • abine dot com and blurs hat I use to block trackers n ads
            theyre really nifty have a free version and reply to you when contacted;-))

        • With free versions of anything, you are unlikely to be the the customer, so you are the merchandise, most likely.

      • I use Duck Duck Go as my default search engine with Chrome. DDG installed “privacy essentials” without me realizing it, and I wasn’t seeing some content within posts (I guess depending on the source of an image or something). I removed that some time ago.

        I suspect some of the problems people are having may be due to malware or browser hijacks, and probably not specific to this site.

        • If it’s only happens when people visit here, it’s specific to this site (or more accurately/likely specific to the ad server that this site is using – IE there’s some bad actor adware in the mix). Haven’t (yet) had the problem this go round, but had the same exact thing happen to me a few months back for a few weeks. Only happened when I came to WUWT, no other sites.

          • Perhaps, but I’ve never had that problem here, and have been visiting here for about 12 years, or so. I take no special precautions for this site. Others have mentioned having no trouble here either.

            It could be specific to WordPress sites, so if this is the only one they visit, they would think it’s just this site. Just speculating.

          • If it’s related to the ad server, as I suspect, then you can go a long time without experiencing it while someone else keeps having it happen, as the ads each person get served differ are tailored to the individual based on their profile. You could just be lucky that your profile isn’t triggering the particular ad(s) that are causing the problem. Currently neither is mine. Others are not so lucky.

    • My browser keeps getting highjacked . . .

      Happened to me today on a customer’s machine using the latest Edge. Some here have already suggested using FF with Adblock Plus extension. I agree. That’s how I fixed it on my customer’s box today.

    • It happens regularly here, though not the last couple of days. (I use Safari.)

      But I’ve also had it happen on some sites that post daily comics.

      Go figure.

    • I’ve had some spam ad pages bob up like that recently too accessing WUWT but rebooting Win10 cured it a couple of times although it seems to have ceased so something’s up. Anyone else?

    • I’m using Firefox with uBlock Origin, Decentraleyes, Disconnect, HTTPS Everywhere and a hosts file on Linux (Slackware). I can’t remember the last time I had anything untoward pop up in the browser. This site is quite enlightening on the subject of privacy/security: https://www.privacytools.io/

      For a laugh (although not so funny for those that have been scammed) have a look at this series of videos about an Indian scamming operation that was hacked and ultimately put out of action by the Indian police: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=le71yVPh4uk

    • I had a similar problem, but not with WUWT. The site admins likely can’t help you.

      For the moment, disable or uninstall the Adobe extension. Restart browser. If that doesn’t work or you don’t have an Adobe extension installed, clear the cookies and browser cache. Restart browser.

    • Yes, my browser, Safari, has the same “Update Adobe” warning and occasionally there is a warning that my Norton virus license is expiring–but I don’t have a Norton virus license. But these warnings only occur on WUWT. No idea why.

      • It has nothing to do with Adobe or Norton. They’re bad actor malicious ads designed to trick the unwary. If you follow their links to “update” you’ll likely be installing malware, ransomware or other computer virus on your system and/or be prompted to enter passwords, credit card numbers or other personal information they can use for to steal you identity and/or money.

    • Block Pop-ups in your browser if you haven’t already then run an ad blocker program like AdBlocker. Combination prevents a lot of that crap from happening. Where to block pop-ups will depend on the browser you are using but shouldn’t be hard to find.

  3. I understand that Amazon France can now only deliver essential food and medicine having lost a case in a French court over worker safety. I could have the details not quite right. Also Amazon is not a favourite company of the French courts.

  4. Sadly, if Amazon had fired the idiots for climate agitation, it would be bulletproof. But firing them because of workplace safety complaints may subject Amazon to liability under labor laws.

    • They technically fired them for doing nothing but complain about worker safety, including using on-work-time and Amazon resources for the recruitment of other agitators. They basically re-wrote their own job descriptions as “in-house agitators. It’s my understanding that this has been going on for several years with these two. Whatever you think about Bezos or Amazon this seemed like an entirely justified and over-due action

    • Complaining to HR internally, you would have a point. Agitating and organizing on social media, not so much.

    • If not covered by a union contract they are “worker at will”. It will be very hard for them to win a fight. Unless they are minority and contact Jesse or Al.

  5. Their “Amazonians United” logo looks a lot like the Soviet Hammer and Sickle. No accident, I suppose.

    • Joey, I saw the symbol of the clenched fist and recognize it as the communist Workers of the World Unite logo. We might be tempted to think of that as a clue.

    • Ever since someone (jokingly) pointed out that the logo is simply a depiction of an excited Bezos from below, that’s what I see now.

      I see the same thing in the “Amazonians United” logo, as well as the threatening box cutter. (also not likely an accident).

      (Maybe whoever created the “amazonians united” logo enlighten me as to why the smile is a bit more pronounced than is the typical amazon logo)

  6. Get it through their heads that Climate Change has been replaced by a real problem – Covid-19. Climate Change, or whatever is basically a false problem according to real DATA.

    JPP

  7. The “Amazonians United, New York City” insignia contained in Maren Costa’s tweet features a hand holding what appears to me to be a hammer and sickle.

    I don’t think it’s an accident.

  8. I am not going to say they are lying – but they are definitely passing on misinformation.

    Amazon is making it possible for employees to follow the CDC guidelines, except for “social distancing” (virtually impossible in a warehouse environment). Whether the employees are taking advantage of that is up to them. (I have a family member working the floor in the local warehouse so this is unfiltered.)

    Free speech is certainly your right. Invoking the names of others that may or may not agree with you, without their permission, is not.

    • “Free speech is certainly your right. ”

      That right only extends to government suppression of your free speech, not private companies or entities. Amazon doesn’t have to allow them free speech on company time or resources. In fact, many large companies have rules against the sort of thing they were doing.

  9. So worriers warriors, it seems that while you are free to choose what kinds of companies you are willing to work for, companies are free to choose who they are willing to have working for them.

    What a wonderfully equitable arrangement!

  10. Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa, both user experience designers with 21 years of service at the company between them

    Never mind their activism, they were probably fired for incompetence. Amazon and their products are not lauded for their exceptional “user experience”. How did these two stay employed when the results of their work, presumably, were mediocre at best.

    • Amazon has one of the worst search functions of any website. Most of the search results are exactly what you don’t want and do not contain any of the search terms you used.

      • Jeff in C, that’s how they get you to buy more stuff that you weren’t looking for.

        Having said that, I just did a search on Amazon and Walmart for “chinet paper plates” and got only relevant results on both sites.

  11. Activists in government and academia have free reign to mouth lies and attacks with no official pushback. Private businesses don’t have to put up with such nonsense. Businesses are finding that the twiterverse warriors don’t speak for the majority.

    • Government shouldn’t put up with it either. FDR warned against public sector workers collectiviely bargaining and he was a pro government as they came. He observed in his objection and stance in opposition that no one sat at the bargaining table on behalf of the private sector workers who paid the bill.

      Union workers in government play the two for you one for me game. Its not a question of if they will get increases in pay and benefits come contract meetings just how much they will have to kick back to the bureaucrats, politicians and the K Street lawyers who service them of the increase they get.

  12. LOL. Goose, meet gander. Although not painting all of Amazon workers with a broad brush there’s definitely a common thread among all the silicon valley workers of Marxism/Socialism. That is until payday comes and then they’re quiet and go about their lives increasing the pay gap and insulating themselves from the poor wretches that work support/service jobs if they work at all. Usually first to complain and last to look in the mirror.

  13. I’m old enough to remember when criticizing your employer in a public fashion was a sure-fire way to get fired immediately.

    • John, we are now in the woke-verse, where businesses are always wrong and old white guys need to be euthanized.

      Remember when we were young? ‘Don’t believe anyone over 30’ was the mantra. I am now over 30 (by alot). The universe eventually comes around and bites you in the a$$. ‘You can’t win’ is my motto.

    • As far as I can tell, it still happens all the time. link In fact, it seems that a company can sue an ex-employee who has defamed it. (Whether that’s a good idea or not is beyond my pay grade.)

      Amazon has to be wary of the public relations implications of whatever it does but it can’t cave in to every stupidity that is thrust at it. “Get woke go broke” is a thing even though all the SJWs in the world rail against it.

      • In China, they often have clauses in employee contracts that allow for penalties that in one case I saw was 10 times annual salary. Also, one can quit but companies have the right to refuse resignations for up to 30 days.

    • John, most companies still have that in their policy statements and employment contracts. Amazon is slowly learning why.

  14. a double-cliche’ comes to mind
    Bezos gets to enjoy reaping what he sewed by creating the petard, onto which he has self-hoisted.

  15. Do not forget that Amazon’s boss, Jeff Bezos, owns Washington Post. The same Washington Post that is a card-carrying member of the Democrat party and gladly supports all it stands for. It is ironic that Amazon is being hoisted by their own petard — The actions Bezos calls for in the Washington Post are the same actions they are being sued over.

    • Doesn’t Bezos also own Whole Foods??

      WAPO printed an article a while back about Grocery companies that won’t put stores in African American neighborhoods.

      Shouldn’t Jeff put Whole Foods in all the African American neighborhoods and make sure they get the same product quality as all other Whole Food stores, but with prices that African Americans can afford ??

      From each according to his ability, to each according to his need !!

      • That’s just it, the poor inner-city neighborhoods (that tend to be mostly African American and Hispanic) can’t afford to buy from Whole Foods, if they had one, at the prices Whole Foods would normally charge. And even if Whole Foods would offer lower prices in such neighborhoods, those store locations would still end up closing due to the crime and vandalism, the same as all the other grocery stores that have tried to open in those locations. If a store could safely operate in such neighborhoods, there would already be such stores in those neighborhoods as there’s plenty of money to be made for such stores (SNAP would be covering a majority of the stores customers, so it’s not like there wouldn’t be a lack of customers or income to the stores).

  16. Amazon has been under attack by union hacks and anyone in the media they can find to flack for them. Conditions are superior to most distribution warehouses. Pay is equal to or better than others in that industry. Benefits are off the chart better. Medical insurance and paid time off is available from the first day of work. Meaning you can take time off the second day with no penalty. You can get a pair of prescription glasses on day three also on paid time off. Amazon will pay to teach you truck driving, HVAC, and other skills. The classrooms are generally inside the facilities. Amazon will pay you a lump sum if you want to quit after 2, 3,4 ,or 5 years to help you transition to a new job. And the list goes on.

    In New York about 10 people participated in the “shutdown” that received major media coverage for days and days. Jeff Bezos is no friend of climate skeptics but his company is getting a bum wrap. I can just about hear him saying “screw em. Get rid of them”

  17. Most workers I imagine are pretty young so very low risk of dying from virus. Much more likely to be run over by an Amazon robot and die.

  18. Social Justice Workers (or Wonkers) need to learn that having a job is a privilege, not a right – there is no entitlement to do as you please. You work for a company, you do a good job, you get paid, and maybe if you are good enough you get a promotion.

    You publicly bitch about the very company you choose to work for, you need to move on. You stay within boundaries to make change at a company, and that means influencing from the inside, not tearing a company down from the outside.

    • Indeed. It’s called biting the hand the feeds you. As those SJWs found out bite the hand enough times and eventually it’ll smack you upside your stupid head.

    • Amazon is actually the lesser of those evils, by far. I’d say Google is the worse by a long ways. Satan could take lessons in being evil from Google

  19. “Salting” workplaces by unions and socialist parties is nothing new. Back in 1990’s the Socialist Workers Party had people hired in at my steel plant, but they had zero influence on us “shop rats”. They moved on to targeting baggage handlers at Detroit Metro Airport and within two years the airport went from highly rated baggage handling to one of the worst in the nation. One member toured the country running in any local election that the leadership instructed her to run in.

  20. Amazon appears to have been fighting SJW infections on various fronts. All Bezos wants to do is sell stuff to people, and he doesn’t take kindly to SJWs getting in the way.

    Looks like they now have two less Karens working for them. With any luck, they were the two who decided Amazon’s user experience would be so much better with fifty ‘sponsored’ ads per page of search results, rather than the actual things I was searching for. Then Amazon can go back to being a useful place to shop again.

    • They keep mentioning ice being “lost”. Were they saving it for something?

      Of course, not one word about how it must have been warmer back then.

  21. This has the appearance of an AOC inspired, if not directly supported, fifth column attack on Amazon.

  22. You know, back when I was an employee I respected that my employers were not right-wing nutcases like me. After I retired I felt free to nutcase to my heart’s content.

    But in the left-wing culture of activist knight-errantry this courtesy does not apply.

  23. Amazon sells food and products that is from dumpsters that people advertise on their website. It gets delivered and looks authentic.

    • Those are third parties, not Amazon. Amazon is the platform they use, but those kinds of things are not being shipped by Amazon, to my knowledge. Amazon shuts them down when such things are brought to their attention.

  24. As long as Amazon HQ eremains based in Seattle, they are open to this kind of employee blackmail attempts. They should just up and move to Midland-Odessa, the heart of the Permian Basin and cheap energy to run their AWS servers.

    Bezos’ rocket launch services is just short 180 miles drive down I-20/10 from Odessa. If they don’t like, they can be crash test dummies on Blue Origins.

  25. “Either way, I doubt we’ve heard the last from Amazon’s employee climate warriors.'”

    I think we have.

    Because now they are Amazon ex-employee climate warriors, eh?
    I love reading about just desserts.
    Thanks for the morning mirthiness, Eric.
    I would have fired her for saying “y’all”, personally.

  26. Speaking of house cleaning Peter Dutton Minister of Home Affairs doesn’t miss the opportunity to talk about the need as reported in The Australian today (16/4/20)-

    ‘Peter Dutton says backlash against the World Health Organisation and calls for Australia to demand reforms should extend to other UN organisations that “aren’t acting in the global interest”.
    The Home Affairs Minister reaffirmed the government’s position that it will not follow US President Donald Trump’s lead and halt funding to the WHO over its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak from China, arguing the body plays an important role in healthcare in the Pacific region.
    Mr Dutton labelled the WHO’s position on the safety of wet markets “incredulous”.
    “It’s a huge mistake, and they need to reassess what their advice is because it’s clear now that there have been a number of instances, if you go back through SARS, etc, and this is a significant problem that the world’s awake to,” Mr Dutton told 2GB Radio.
    “We’ve got to call any of these organisations out when we see it and there are other bodies within the UN that I would argue, aren’t acting in the global interest, aren’t acting certainly in the interest of countries like Australia.’

    Peter is hard conservative so the watermelons and usual suspects will know exactly where he’s coming from here.

    • I heard on local Seattle talk radio a couple days ago, from one of the very few libertarian hosts, Dori Monson, a recording of an interview with the head of the WHO. He is so in China’s pocket that he pretended he didn’t hear a question about Taiwan, even though it was obvious he did. He completely ignored further questions about Taiwan and hung up on the interviewer.

      Is there a more blatant conflict of interest?

  27. Bye Felicia.

    Hopefully both of these two just got a good hard lesson in what it means to be employed and not unemployed. Not only were they stupid in their social media attack, but it can’t be erased–so bye, bye any new job too. No company is going to hire anyone that defames their old company on social media for it may and probably will happen again.

    What I don’t understand and I’m not that old…so bear with me here…why is it that people feel they are entitled to do this in the first place? Look, I work for a good company, not the best, but then there is no BEST company because it is a matter of opinion. Thankfully, my industry is one of those listed as “essential” and I still have a job and damn lucky to have one. Because even in my essential company things are not all that great. With every market down, with whole industries now scratching harder to just stay afloat and loads more put out of business for good and some looking at the chopping block in the next quarter–why stick your neck out for the ax? Has the sense of entitlement so overwhelmed the ego that you can’t figure that out? Or is was that even a consideration? Well no-one is “safe” and no-one ever has been “safe” either….ever. Like ever. You can be fired, walked out, let go..etc. So lesson learned I would hope.

    And hopefully this is a lesson for those that believe themselves to BE safe. Business is not what you may think it is–its business. The minute you affect the bottom line (and especially now) you are gone. Best to keep that in mind. Companies don’t “owe” you jack.

    • Uni teaches the dear little petals they’re agents for social change and we know exactly what direction that takes nowadays. OTOH biz teaches you the boss doesn’t pay you the customers do and they’re a miserable bunch of tightasses and largely interested in bang for buck. The boss is simply the go between with that or you’re all off down the road. You wouldn’t expect a bunch of taxeaters to know much about that so discount their lectures accordingly. So many consumer eggsperts and so few profitable long term suppliers.

      • Agents for social change must not like to eat very much or live with a roof over their heads. Or pay bills.

        Must be nice to live in an Ivory Tower and dictate to all the little people below how to make it in the world. And if they are using celebrities as examples:

        How quickly those celebrity types forget the struggle to be the first at the Trader Joe’s dumpster in the morning so they would have something to eat for the day. Or work 18 hour days on a crappy TV pilot only for it to be cancelled and they get enough to maybe pay for bus fare to the next audition.

        /sarc

    • There actually is, or was, a BEST company. This was the Bombay Electric Supply and Tramways Company.This ran electric trams from 1997 till some time in the 1950s or 60s. Eventually it became the Bombay Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking, when municipalized, and then the trams were killed. It is now the Brihan Mumbai Electric Supply & Transport Undertaking, but is still known as ‘BEST’.

      So there!

      • There actually is, or was, a BEST company. This was the Bombay Electric Supply and Tramways Company.This ran electric trams from 1997 (sic) till some time in the 1950s

        Obviously the BEST company. What other company can brag about operating time travelling Trams!!!

  28. From government employees, to corporate boardrooms to the Amazon Warehouse floor, the world is full of people who take positions solely to push their own agendas.

    That being said, worker safety is very important and should be a priority.

  29. Simple employment strategy.
    1. Hire the best people you can.
    2. Be generous.
    3. Fire the unhappy ones.

  30. The “AMAZONIANS UNITED” logo is very much like the graphic designs used by Communists for decades. As one who grew up with the “red scare”, which was and is a very real threat, I would not support or believe in any movement in any way that used any manner of design or medium that is suggestive of Communism. I don’t believe reporting coming out of China. Anyone who does is either in bed with the criminal government, or is borderline criminally naive. If I were head of a mainstream news organization, I would make sure that any reporting done by that organization of news coming out of China was bracketed by plain language that all statements made by Chinese news agencies or governmental officials are not to be taken as true. The only newsworthy content of such statements are that they were made, and that their factual content should be doubted.

  31. I bet these two will have to go full time into advocacy work because no business is going to want to hire them.

  32. Mods: Please change ‘k….d’ to scrapped, if that is what was worrying your system. Many thanks.

  33. “pressuring Amazon apply a climate morality test to everyone Amazon engages with”

    Amazon engages with all of their customers, donn’t they?

  34. Anarchist leadership skill is better suited to country takeovers for thug rewards than your typical sales and marketing department for a retailer.

  35. Where do you suppose union members end up after committing acts of violence—the union organization.

  36. Why must so many people treat Covid-19 as if mere exposure to it equates to a death sentence? Maybe the strident voice of the lamestream media with their ever present body counts? Perhaps the draconian lock-downs occurring almost everywhere?

  37. I have no idea what a customer experience officer does. All i want is for Amazon to deliver my goods as quickly as possible and they do that pretty well. Empower your warehouse employees Amazon, look after them and sack all the climate warrior customer experience officers and you will continue to do well. Try running a “climate morality test” past me as someone Amazon “engages with” and I suspect the company will have a whole lot fewer customers. I order books from Amazon, it is none of their business what my politics, morals or ethics are as long as I pay them for their services. A few other on line sellers also need to wake up to this.

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