Seattle Amazon workers layoffs, orders to return to office – KIRO 7 News Seattle plans walkout Wednesday

The Post cited internal messages shared by employees via Slack and email that listed Amazon’s order to return to the office, climate commitments and recent layoffs as reasons for the walkout.

One Los Angeles-based employee quoted by the Washington Post went so far as to say, “Sensitivity feels like it’s at an all-time low.”

Amazon announced plans to lay off 9,000 workers at the end of March. The layoffs extended to various groups, including Amazon Web Services, PXT Solutions, advertising and Twitch.

“However, given the uncertain economy in which we live and the uncertainty of the future, we have chosen to be more streamlined in our costs and headcount,” CEO Andy Jassy said in late March.

“We respect our employees’ right to express their views,” a company spokesperson said of the planned walkout.

Meanwhile, Amazon faces a record number of resolutions at its annual shareholder meeting.

A look at the meeting agenda shows that Amazon is in favor of five corporate actions and the company is against 18 resolutions. The resolutions can all be voted on, but many are trying to hold Amazon accountable for issues like plastic pollution, warehouse conditions, climate concerns, workers’ rights and diversity.

Jeff Shulman, a professor at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business, says accountability comes from many angles.

“We’re seeing activist investors, we’re seeing people trying to make Amazon play a more positive role in society… If people can make Amazon socially responsible, that’s going to have a profound impact, how much impact Amazon has in everyone’s lives,” Shulman said.

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Shulman says Amazon helps drive the U.S. and global economy through sales and powers the Internet through Amazon Web Services as more and more customers turn to Amazon for online services.

This led people to protest and push the company for corporate responsibility. Shulman says stakeholders are anything but affecting Seattle.

“Anything that can affect Amazon’s stock price will have an effect on home prices here; Impacting small businesses here; Thousands of people work in this region and impact many lives,” Shulman said.

Oceana is a non-profit group focused on protecting the oceans, and the group has a major concern with plastic. The company hopes that Amazon’s decision to tackle its excessive use of plastic will be supported by shareholders.

Matt Littlejohn, Oceana’s senior vice president, spoke with KIRO 7 about the group’s latest efforts to bring awareness to the Amazon issue and reduce plastic with a series of actions in Seattle.

“We’re really excited because we think the people of Seattle, like I said, care about the oceans, care about the environment. We’ve been canvassing the streets of Seattle, putting out trucks with mobile billboards,” Littlejohn said.

Littlejohn and Oceana took action and felt that concerns about Amazon’s use of plastic should go to employees, many of whom are shareholders. Oceana says it received 49% support for a report and action on plastic packaging last year. Amazon says its work to reduce plastics has led to a 7% reduction in packaging weight by 2021, eliminating nearly 100,000 metric tons of plastic worldwide.

In most of Amazon’s responses to the resolutions, it has said it is already working on targets, so no action is needed.

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Resolutions require 53% of shareholders to pass – they are not binding and are often rex.

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