Thousands of workers petition Amazon for paid time off to vote



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Between Amazon’s (AMZN) 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 (WMT), Starbucks (SBUX), and Twitter (TWTR), 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 vote. 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.”





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