News: Amazon employees in Seattle plan May 31 walkout in protest of layoffs and return-to-office mandate

Employee Relations

Amazon employees in Seattle plan May 31 walkout in protest of layoffs and return-to-office mandate

The Amazon walkout has been instigated by a range of concerns, including dissatisfaction with layoffs and the return-to-office policy, as well as anxieties surrounding Amazon's environmental commitments.
Amazon employees in Seattle plan May 31 walkout in protest of layoffs and return-to-office mandate

Amazon has been grappling with the challenges posed by unfavorable economic conditions for a considerable period. As a result, the company has experienced layoffs, policy alterations, and various other adjustments. Following the same, some employees at Amazon's Seattle headquarters made internal announcements on Monday regarding their intentions to go on strike.

As reported by The Washington Post, employee organisers used Slack and email to encourage their colleagues to stage a walkout on May 31. This action is prompted by various issues such as discontent over layoffs and the return-to-office policy, as well as apprehensions regarding Amazon's environmental commitments. The walkout was scheduled one week after the company's yearly shareholder meeting.

“Morale feels like it’s at an all-time low. In meetings and one-on-ones with colleagues, there’s so much uncertainty and lack of clarity from leadership. … It’s an unsettling time to work at Amazon,” said a Los Angeles-based Amazon employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect their job, according to The Washington Post. 

Organisers aim to gather a minimum of 1,000 participants based in Seattle for the upcoming walkout, viewing it as an opportunity to express their concerns. This event reflects a broader trend of anxiety escalating into activism among Silicon Valley employees, who are experiencing hiring freezes and significant layoffs amidst the looming possibility of a recession.

Other than Amazon, within Meta, a significant decline in morale has occurred due to the company's top executives receiving substantial bonuses, despite ongoing layoffs affecting thousands of employees. Meanwhile, Google employees are preparing themselves for further job reductions.

The implementation of return-to-office policies at Google is also contributing to heightened anxiety among employees who have been anticipating further layoffs since January. Concerns have emerged among workers that the company may leverage in-office regulations as a means to reduce staff without officially announcing layoffs. Individuals familiar with the matter, who preferred to remain anonymous due to fear of reprisal, have conveyed these apprehensions.

Meta is preparing for another round of layoffs this month, marking the third wave of an ongoing workforce reduction initiative that will ultimately result in the elimination of 10,000 jobs. 

As details about the cuts became known, employees sought solace in Blind, an app that provides users with a company email the ability to access a private and anonymous message board. This platform allows employees to share information about the layoffs and express dissatisfaction with the company's leadership. 

In March, users participated in an anonymous poll on the platform, indicating their preference for Zuckerberg to depart from the company, as evidenced by copies of the post viewed by The Post.

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Topics: Employee Relations, #Layoffs, #HRTech, #HRCommunity

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