- Amazon workers are demanding that the company give all US employees paid time off to vote in the upcoming election, NBC News reported Tuesday.
- The petition, which gained more than 3,200 supporters, called for “a paid day/shift off that can be used anytime between now and Election Day on Nov 3” and “every year” in the future, according to NBC News.
- “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 vote,” an Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider.
- Amazon and subsidiary Whole Foods employ nearly 1.4 million workers in the US.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Amazon workers, who have become increasingly vocal about the company’s policies during the pandemic, have a new demand: time off to vote in the upcoming US elections.
More than 3,200 Amazon workers have signed a petition circulating internally demanding the company give its entire US workforce a paid day or shift off to vote, NBC News reported Tuesday.
“We are less than a month away from the 2020 US 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,” read the petition, which has been circulating on an internal Amazon support ticket system, according to NBC News.
The petition also demanded that the “additional day/shift off must be available to all employees every year,” NBC News reported.
Amazon and its subsidiary Whole Foods have 1,372,000 “front-line” workers across the US — accounting for roughly 1 of every 200 of the country’s voting-age population — but doesn’t currently guarantee them time off to vote in person.
“We have supplied all of our employees with
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
Fort Bend County will extend early voting hours for the rest of the week in response to issues voters faced on day one.
On Tuesday morning, polling places got off to a rocky start after reported errors became common at multiple locations.
ABC13 received numerous calls and messages from viewers in the county reporting that they weren’t able to vote. Shortly before 9:15 a.m., a precinct judge at a Missouri City polling place said the issue had been resolved and people were able to begin voting.
SkyEye was over the area in Sugar Land, where people were outside City Hall and Smart Financial Centre.
Still, outside of the event center, Fort Bend County Judge KP George said that for at least one hour there was an error in their program, delaying voting.
“Definitely apologize for that inconvenience, and as I understand, the machines are back,” George said. “The Smart Financial where we are right now, it is up and running. We are back online, and I hope there won’t be any distractions for voting. Once again… I just wanted to say sorry for what happened and we will be doing an investigation. We will be holding those responsible for it accountable. What happened is not OK, not acceptable in Fort Bend County.”
George later released this full statement:
I am extremely disappointed with the technical glitches that riddled Fort Bend County Election machines this morning. Remember, people have died for our right to vote. Stay in line or come back at a convenient time – the future of our country depends on us. You have three weeks to vote early. Remember, we have also extended the hours on the last three days
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
Snapchat has helped more than 1 million users register for November’s presidential elections, with nearly two-thirds of those registered being 24 or younger, a stat that could turn out to be a boon for Joe Biden and the Democratic party.
Around 64.5% of users who have signed up to vote through Snapchat’s app are between the ages of 18-24, the company told Forbes in an emailed statement.
Snapchat says it has seen more signups to register in Texas than any other state, while other battleground states in the Sun Belt including Florida, Georgia and North Carolina are also seeing a large number of signups, although Texas and Georgia may be a bit of a reach for Biden.
During the 2018 midterms, more than 450,000 voters had registered through Snapchat and the company estimated that around 57% of them cast a ballot.
While 2.5 million voters have registered via Facebook, Snapchat’s user base is significantly younger, a demographic that heavily favors Joe Biden and the Democratic party.
56%. That’s the percentage of first-time voters among the million Snapchat users who have signed up to vote in November, the company said.
Social media platforms are attempting to avoid a repeat of 2016 when the likes of Facebook and Twitter saw Russia-backed election interference and the spread of misinformation. To counter this, all major social media platforms have established election-related initiatives to both encourage voting and curb the spread of misinformation. Facebook rolled out its voting-related resources for U.S. users in August. Twitter has also included tools to allow voters to register and view other election-related information within its app. Both platforms and YouTube have been adding labels about mail-in