This week, thousands of Amazon employees demanded paid leave to vote. The appeal asked Amazon “to provide the entire U.S. workforce with a paid day / shift that can be used at any time until Election Day on November 3. This extra paid day / shift must be available to all employees each year.” Given the already ridiculous vote lines that the United States sees, further exacerbated by the pandemic this year, this seems like a reasonable request. But not for Amazon – the company denied the request, and a spokesman stated that employees “can ask for and be excused. The number of hours and salaries given to employees varies from country to country in accordance with local laws. ”
Translation: Oh, is there a reason this particular election in the United States is particularly important? Take your petition and push it. Our bottom line is more important. Amazon will continue to do the absolute minimum required by law.
This is exactly the same for the course. It̵
Now this column was about panning Amazon for its terrible stance. But a quick check while I was writing showed that the technology giant is not alone.
While hundreds of companies have joined the impartial “Time To Vote” movement that allocates time for employees to vote during the workday, Amazon is not on the membership list. But neither is Apple, Facebook or Microsoft.
Google and Walmart, the largest employer in the United States, have signed. Smaller technical companies also on the list include Etsy, Lyft, PayPal, Uber, Salesforce and Twitter.
Apple has refused to confirm that they give 4 hours off on election day. Facebook offers paid leave to all US employees who volunteer to staff the polls, but it has not said anything about voting. Microsoft has not said a look.
I can not decide what is more shameful – the fact that the United States does not care about giving citizens free rein to vote, or that Big Tech is not interested in leading such a fundamental issue.
I pinged Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft for an explanation of their position. I’ll update this story if I hear back, but I’m not holding my breath.
ProBeat is a column where Emil scares about what crosses him that week.
The sound problem:
Learn how new cloud-based API solutions solve imperfect, frustrating audio in video conferencing. Access here