Thousands of Amazon employees have joined a new Slack channel called “Remote Advocacy” to voice their concerns regarding the company’s newly announced return-to-office policy. The policy mandates that beginning in May employees return to the office three days a week — a decision that has prompted some employees to organize a petition in opposition.
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy announced the new policy on Friday in an internal memo. Business Insider reported that the Slack channel was created within hours of the announcement to “advocate for remote work at Amazon.” Employees also expressed dissatisfaction with the abrupt announcement and a lack of clarity from leadership. Some even suggested that the new policy is unnecessary and is a cost-cutting measure by way of forcing employees to resign.
CNBC reported on screenshots of comments from an Amazon newsfeed normally available only internally. One said in part that by “arbitrarily forcing return-to-office without providing data to support it and despite clear evidence that it is the wrong decision for employees, Amazon has failed its role as earth’s best employer.”
“I believe this decision will be detrimental to our business,” the comment concluded, “and is antithetical to how we make decisions at Amazon.”
The employee petition, which CNBC said had 5,000 signatures as of Tuesday evening, argues that remote work is more productive, saves money, improves work-life balance, and benefits marginalized people. Amazon employees seek the right to choose where they work, including remote locations.
With the new Slack channel gaining over 14,000 members as of Tuesday, Amazon employees seem ready to stand up against the new policy.
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