Over 3,000Amazon tech workers on Tuesday signed an internal petition urging the company to offer paid time off for its workforce to vote on or before Election Day, according to NBC News. As of Oct. 13, the petition has garnered the support of at least 3,243 supporters.
Amazon has over 1.37 million U.S. workers including Whole Foods employees, however, it is known for being one of the harshest employers in terms of working conditions. Employees often condemn the unsafe, gruesome conditions that they are subject to. It is, therefore, not much of a surprise that the company does not offer paid time off to employees to participate in federal elections.
The petition, first reported by CNBC News 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. The petition was started on an internal company tool by Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, a group of corporate employees that originally formed to advocate on climate issues.
“We are less than a month away from the 2020 U.S. 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,” the petition, hosted on the company’s ticketing system, reads.
On the other hand, employees working for certain other corporations have it relatively easy. According tothis report by CNBC, “hundreds of companies, including Patagonia, Lyft, Walmart are giving workers time off to exercise their right to vote in the 2020 Election.”
Initiatives such as these are welcome today in a country where the population rate is the lowest amongst developed countries, at roughly about 56 percent, far behind the 87 percent of voting-age Belgians who participated in their 2014 elections.