Amazon employees petition for PTO on election day

Amazon headquarters sits vacant on March 10, 2020 in the city of Seattle, Washington. In response to an outbreak of coronaviruses, Amazon recommended all employees in its Seattle office work from home, leaving nearly people in the city vacant.

John Moore | Getty Images

Amazon employees are signing an internal petition at the company to give employees time to vote.

The petition urges Amazon to provide paid time to its entire American workforce to vote on or before Election Day. In the United States, Election Day occurs on Tuesday, November 3. Many states allow voters to vote early at polling places before Election Day.

As of Tuesday evening, more than 4,000 technical staff have signed the petition, which was presented through Amazon’s internal ticketing system. Staff canceled the petition by commenting “+1” or below the post.

Many US companies have given their employees time to vote, including Facebook, Apple, Uber, Twitter, Starbucks, and Walmart. As of August, Amazon, with 876,000 employees worldwide, is the second largest private employer in the US after Walmart.

According to responses seen by CNBC, Amazon employees supporting the petition criticized Amazon for being “under the bar on the issue” compared to other US corporations.

Staff also expressed concern that the epidemic would create further challenges for staff on how to balance staffing and work reports and pointing to long lines at polling places and where and how to vote . Long lines and hours of waiting have already reached polling places in states where early voting has opened, including Texas and Georgia.

“We are less than a month away from the 2020 US election,” the petition stated. “I urge the company to provide the workforce with a pay day / shift to the entire US employee that can be used at any time between now and the election in November. 3. This additional pay day / shift every year for all Should be available to employees. ”

An Amazon spokesperson told CNBC that the company allows employees to ask for time in person.

“In all 47 voting states, employees who lack sufficient time before or after the scheduled workday to vote may request and be provided time by excuse,” the spokesman said. he said. “The number of hours and salaries provided to employees varies by state according to local laws.”

The action was organized by Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, an employee advocacy group that previously called on the company to develop a comprehensive climate change plan, among other initiatives. Recently, the group has voiced support for warehouse employees, who have criticized Amazon’s response to the coronovirus epidemic.

AECJ was fired in April after two of the group’s leaders, Amazon’s former user experience designers Emily Cunningham and Maran Costa. Both Cunningham and Costa said they were fired in retaliation after continuing criticism of Amazon and supporting warehouse workers’ coronovirus safety concerns. Amazon said it fired Cunningham and Costa for “repeatedly violating internal policies”.


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