3,000 Amazon workers demand time off to vote: report
- 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.
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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 information on how to register to vote, details of their local polling locations, and how to request time off to vote,” Amazon spokesperson Jaci Anderson told Business Insider.
“In all 47 states with in-person voting, employees that lack adequate time before or after their scheduled workday to vote, can request and be provided excused time off. The number of hours and pay provided to employees varies by state in line with local laws,” Anderson said, adding that Amazon has given specific guidance to managers around requests for time off to vote.
The petition was organized by Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, a group of employees that originally formed in 2018 to pressure Amazon to reduce its environmental impact but has since expanded its focus to working conditions.
In April, Amazon fired two AECJ organizers, Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa, following their involvement in organizing a virtual event for workers to discuss concerns about health and safety on the job amid Amazon’s response to the pandemic.
Amazon rival Walmart, among other major brands including Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola, and Levi Strauss, have all pledged to give employees some paid time off to vote as more companies face pressure to help drive voter turnout this November amid intense social unrest and a global pandemic.