Thousands of Amazon’s tech workers have signed a petition calling for the e-commerce giant to provide paid time off to all of its employees to vote.
Between Amazon’s corporate and warehouse employees, as well as Amazon-owned Whole Foods’ workers, the company employs more than 1.3 million people in the United States and is the second largest private employer in the country.
The petition, first reported by NBC News, calls for eight hours of paid time off to be made available to employees to use up until Election Day for voting-related activities, including registering to vote and volunteering.
More than 3,000 employees have signed the petition, which launched Tuesday morning via an internal company tool and was organized by Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, a group of corporate employees that originally formed to advocate on climate issues, applying pressure to the company and seeing some results.
Earlier this year, two of the organization’s leaders — Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa — were fired after being vocal about warehouse worker conditions during the pandemic. Amazon said in a statement at the time that it “terminated these employees for repeatedly violating internal policies.”
In order to give people the opportunity to vote, hundreds of companies, including Walmart, Starbucks, and Twitter, have announced they would give workers some additional paid time off.
But Amazon “currently requires workers to use vacation time to vote (if they have it) or gives the bare minimum time off as required by individual state laws,” according to a press release from the organizing group.
Amazon spokesperson Jaci Anderson said in a statement to CNN Business: “We have supplied all of our employees with information on how to register to vote, details of their local polling locations and how to request time off to
Then, on Sunday, the account was gone — suspended by Twitter for breaking its rules against platform manipulation.
The remarkable reach of @CopJrCliff and other fake accounts from supposed Black Trump supporters highlights how an account can be effective at pushing misleading narratives in just a few days — faster than Twitter can take it down.
A network of more than two dozen similar accounts, many of them using identical language in their tweets, recently has generated more than 265,000 retweets or other amplifying “mentions” on Twitter, according to Clemson University social media researcher Darren Linvill, who has been tracking them since last weekend. Several had tens of thousands of followers, and all but one have now been suspended.
Researchers call fake accounts featuring supposed Black users “digital blackface,” a reference to the now-disgraced tactic of White people darkening their faces for film or musical performances intended to mimic African Americans.
Many of the accounts used profile pictures of Black men taken from news reports or other sources. Several of the accounts claimed to be from members of groups with pro-Trump leanings, including veterans, police officers, steelworkers, businessmen and avid Christians. One of the fake accounts had, in the place of a profile photo, the words “black man photo” — a hint of sloppiness by the network’s creators.
“It’s asymmetrical warfare,” said Linvill, lead researcher for the Clemson University Media Forensics Hub. “They don’t have to last long. And they are so cheap to produce that you can get a lot of traction without a whole lot of work. Thank you, Twitter.”
Linvill said he found some evidence of foreign origins of the network, with a few traces of the Russian Cyrillic alphabet appearing in online records of the accounts. One account previously tweeted to promote an escort service in
Thousands of Amazon tech workers Tuesday signed an internal petition urging the company to offer paid time off for its workforce to vote on or before Election Day.
While Amazon is the second largest employer in the country, with 1,372,000 U.S. workers including Whole Foods employees, it does not offer paid time off to participate in federal elections.
More than 1,500 Amazon tech workers added their support to the petition one hour after it was launched internally Tuesday morning. By noon PT, the petition had reached 3,243 supporters. The call is hosted on the company’s internal ticketing system, which is used by workers to submit requests and tasks to be completed on the job, like fixing bugs found on a website. It’s also used internally as a way for employees to submit requests for changes to company policies, like benefits.
“We are less than a month away from the 2020 U.S. election. I strongly urge the company to provide the entire US employee workforce with a paid day/shift off that can be used anytime between now and Election Day on Nov 3,” the petition, hosted on the company’s ticketing system, reads.
“This additional day/shift off must be available to all employees every year.”
Employees who support the call for time off to vote are signing on by adding a “+1” to the ticket or leaving a comment of support below the petition.
Amazon declined requests for comment.
The action was organized by the Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, a group of Amazon tech workers formed in 2018 to pressure their employer to commit to reducing fossil fuel emissions. The group previously persuaded the company to reduce fossil fuel emissions in September 2019 after repeated calls from thousands of employees.
This year, the climate group expanded its focus to speaking out
Nearly 23,000 new cases of coronavirus were reported for the UK as officials admitted that thousands of positive tests dating back more than a week had been not been counted due to an IT error.
Health officials said the latest figures – a new daily record – were “artificially high” as a result of the error in its Covid data dashboard and admitted that contact tracing had been delayed.
However they insisted that those affected by the glitch between 25 September and 2 October had all received their results and that lockdown decisions in local areas had not been affected.
Labour criticised the situation as “shambolic” and shadow health secretary called on Matt Hancock to come to the House of Commons to face questions.
It came hours after Boris Johnson told the BBC Andrew Marr show that there was “a failure in the counting system which has now been rectified”.
Meanwhile junior health minister Lord Bethell was criticised for making a “tasteless and offensive” claim that the UK will be “extremely proud” of its response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think it will be like the Olympics,” he told a Conservative party conference event, “that’s when it’s all over and we look back and reflect, we will actually be extremely proud of ourselves.”
The UK has now passed the total of 500,000 confirmed cases as a result of the recent surge in infections across the country.