Amazon workers fume after HR rejects petition against return-to-office
Disgruntled Amazon corporate employees are reportedly devastated after a top human resources executive shot down an internal petition that asked the tech giant’s leaders to nix its return-to-office plan.
Approximately 30,000 workers had signed a petition begging CEO Andy Jassy to cancel his directive that most employees work on site at least three days per week. The return-to-office plan is slated to take effect on May 1.
Beth Galetti, Amazon’s HR chief, shot down the petition in a message to organizers obtained by Insider and signaled the return-to-office plan will move forward as scheduled.
“Given the large size of our workforce and our wide range of businesses and customers, we recognize this transition may take time, but we are confident it will result in long-term benefits to increasing our ability to deliver for our customers, bolstering our culture, and growing and developing employees,” Galetti said in the memo.
Galetti stressed that Amazon’s “commitment to [diversity, equality and inclusion], the safety and well-being of our employees, and sustainability remains unchanged.”
The internal grumbling about the office requirement is the latest sign of discord at the Seattle-based e-retail giant, which rattled employees by announcing another sweeping round of 9,000 layoffs on Monday — just weeks after 18,000 were canned in a broad cost-cutting push.
The petition’s backers aired their grievances about Galetti’s response in an internal Slack channel titled “remote advocacy,” which was used to organize the campaign.
“I’m collapsing here. I’m sorry I feel like a total failure,” one Amazon staffer wrote, according to Insider. “Come in and work. Do as you’re told.
“I’m crying as my family prepares a meal.”
“I recovered from Alcoholism by WFH and now I don’t know,” another wrote.
“I realize Beth can’t respond to every accommodation request, but I don’t think this is representative of the vision she describes and the disconnect is painful,” a third employee said.
In the petition, which first surfaced last month, Amazon workers argued they are more productive and enjoy a better work-life balance in a remote work environment.
The workers also asserted that the three-day-per-week requirement runs contrary to Amazon’s stances on issues such as affordable housing, diversity and climate change.
Meanwhile, Jassy has argued that working more days on site will help build effective collaboration and “deliver for customers and the business.”
The Post has reached out to Amazon for comment.
Amazon is in the midst of a turnaround effort following a dismal 2022 in which the company’s stock plunged by 50%.
In a memo to staffers, Jassy said the latest round of 9,000 layoffs was a “difficult decision, but one that we think is best for the company long term.”
The layoffs hit the company’s cloud computing division Amazon Web Services, its People experience and Technology unit (PXT), its advertising department and its Twitch live video streaming division.
Amazon has joined other tech giants, including Meta and Google, in conducting layoffs in response to a major downturn in the sector and deteriorating US economic conditions.