Amazon employees accuse company of intimidation tactics over climate activism

“Amazon is contributing to climate change,” several employees tweeted.

Karen Ducey/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Amazon is reportedly unhappy with employees who want better company action on climate change. A press release from the Amazon Employees For Climate Justice claims that higher officials within the company threatened termination for activist employees who had spoken with The Washington Post (which Jeff Bezos owns) about their climate change work.

In a pinned tweet thread for the Amazon Employees For Climate Justice Twitter account, members of the group said Thursday that Bezos and other company executives had threatened to fire Amazon employees for speaking up on the "climate catastrophe."

A dent in the progressive image — In a comment to Input, Amazon representative Jaci Anderson responded to the report: “We understand many of our employees feel passionately about the future of our environment – we do too, which is why we’ve included climate change as one of Our Positions and announced The Climate Pledge, a commitment to meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early.”

Members of the group, however, collectively tweeted that Amazon HR officials had contacted them and threatened termination if the group went on with its activism. It's a damning look for the giant company as employees behind the climate change account wondered aloud, "How will the world remember Jeff Bezos in the era of climate emergency?"

"Will he use his immense economic power to help or not?" the group further asks. "Please tell Amazon and Jeff Bezos: our world is on fire and desperately needs climate leadership. Stop silencing employees who are sounding the alarm."

But everyone's doing it — Amazon isn’t the only firm under fire for its reported antagonism toward employee activism.

Recently, Google came under criticism for reportedly firing an employee who informed her colleagues about their labor rights. But while one report is about climate change concerns and the other about worker rights, they both share a common theme: that although Google and Amazon are aggressive about promoting a politically inclusive and progressive image, things seem very different — and contrary — on the inside.