Today is Amazon’s annual shareholder meeting. Nearly 7,700 Amazon employees signed their name publicly asking Bezos and the board to adopt our climate change resolution. Employees want to LEAD on the climate crisis.
A thread on our historic, collective action 👇 https://t.co/9hdFAJTmGL
— Emily Cunningham (@emahlee) May 22, 2019
After nearly 8,000 Amazon employees signed a letter asking CEO Jeff Bezos to enact a comprehensive company-wide climate plan, they were hoping to make their case and speak to their boss at the company’s annual shareholder’s meeting. Instead, they were blown off. As Business Week explained,
“Amazon employee Emily Cunningham, one of the organizers of the climate proposal, stood up to introduce it to the other shareholders at the meeting. Her voice shook as she started to speak, she said. And her first question was, where’s our boss, Jeff Bezos? She asked him to come out on stage so she could “speak to him directly.” The event moderator shrugged her off, saying that Bezos would be out later. When asked if Bezos would be able to hear the employees’ proposal, an awkward silence hung over the proceedings until the MC curtly responded: “I assume so.“”
Why This Matters: Even though shareholders ended up voting down the climate proposal, this is a big shift for tech workers who been historically hesitant to speak out, are becoming more willing to serve as corporate activists and weigh in on the moral and ethical decisions of the firms that employ them, as Vox explained. Amazon has been criticized recently for its courting of fossil fuel companies for business and its employees are stepping up pressure on their employer to act as a responsible corporate citizen. While they didn’t succeed today, they’re continuing to organize through a new Twitter account and aren’t planning on giving up any time soon.