Thousands of Amazon employees have joined a new Slack channel called “Remote Advocacy” to voice their concerns about the company’s newly announced return policy. The policy requires employees to return to the office three days a week starting in May — a decision that has prompted some employees to organize a petition.
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy announced the new policy in an internal memo on Friday. 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 management. Some even suggested that the new policy is unnecessary and a cost-cutting measure to force workers to resign.
CNBC reported on screenshots of comments from an Amazon news feed that is normally only available internally. One of them said in part that by “arbitrarily being forced to return to the 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 the world’s best employer.”
“I believe this decision will be detrimental to our business,” the comment concluded, “and is contrary to how we make decisions at Amazon.”
The employee petition, which CNBC said had 5,000 signatures Tuesday night, argues that remote work is more productive, saves money, improves work-life balance and benefits marginalized people. Amazon employees strive for the right to choose where they work, including remote locations.
Now that the new Slack channel has more than 14,000 members on Tuesday, Amazon employees appear poised to riot against the new policy.