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Criticism Faced by Amazon After Employees Speak Out over Environmental Concerns

05 January 2020 - 15:11 by David Aiken

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E-commerce giant Amazon is no stranger to controversy, although usually it faces scrutiny over things like working conditions and its aversion to paying tax. This week it came under fire as a result of allegations made by certain employees who have been active in campaigning to avert climate change, according to BBC News.

Workers within the retailer formed a group called Amazon Employees for Climate Justice but were subsequently met with threats of job losses after their employer claimed that they had fallen foul of policies put in place against such action.

In essence this comes down to Amazon outlawing its staff from giving statements in public about political hot-button topics, as it aims to remain relatively neutral in order to appeal to the widest possible audience.

The environmental campaigners argue that being faced with getting the sack over the serious and widely accepted issue of climate change is unacceptable, while Amazon replied by saying that this particular policy has recently been updated.

Amazon itself has plans to make its ability to offer safe shopping online to millions of customers worldwide more eco-friendly, with its aim being to eliminate fossil fuels entirely from its activities by the end of the decade.

By 2040 the chief executive of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, has committed to cutting out any and all carbon emissions entirely.

Because of these two key factors, it is reasonable for the employees embroiled in this argument to feel hard done by, given that the company they work for is presenting itself as environmentally conscious and yet behind the scenes seems to be quashing such viewpoints amongst its staff. No doubt this incident will cause Amazon to rethink its policy on employee public expression once more to avoid the ire of the media.