May 1st was my last day as a VP and Distinguished Engineer at Amazon Web Services, after five years and five months of rewarding fun. I quit in dismay at Amazon firing whistleblowers who were making noise about warehouse employees frightened of Covid-19.
What with big-tech salaries and share vestings, this will probably cost me over a million (pre-tax) dollars, not to mention the best job I’ve ever had, working with awfully good people. So I’m pretty blue.
What happened · Last year, Amazonians on the tech side banded together as Amazon Employees for Climate Justice (AECJ), first coming to the world’s notice with an open letter promoting a shareholders’ resolution calling for dramatic action and leadership from Amazon on the global climate emergency. I was one of its 8,702 signatories.
While the resolution got a lot of votes, it didn’t pass. Four months later, 3,000 Amazon tech workers from around the world joined in the Global Climate Strike walkout. The day before the walkout, Amazon announced a large-scale plan aimed at making the company part of the climate-crisis solution. It’s not as though the activists were acknowledged by their employer for being forward-thinking; in fact, leaders were threatened with dismissal.
Fast-forward to the Covid-19 era. Stories surfaced of unrest in Amazon warehouses, workers raising alarms about being uninformed, unprotected, and frightened. Official statements claimed every possible safety precaution was being taken. Then a worker organizing for better safety conditions was fired, and brutally insensitive remarks appeared in leaked executive meeting notes where the focus was on defending Amazon “talking points”.
Warehouse workers reached out to AECJ for support. They responded by internally promoting a petition and organizing a video call for Thursday April 16 featuring warehouse workers from around the world, with guest activist Naomi Klein. An announcement sent to internal mailing lists on Friday April 10th was apparently the flashpoint. Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa, two visible AECJ leaders, were fired on the spot that day. The justifications were laughable; it was clear to any reasonable observer that they were turfed for whistleblowing.
Management could have objected to the event, or demanded that outsiders be excluded, or that leadership be represented, or any number of other things; there was plenty of time. Instead, they just fired the activists.
Snap! · At that point I snapped. VPs shouldn’t go publicly rogue, so I escalated through the proper channels and by the book. I’m not at liberty to disclose those discussions, but I made many of the arguments appearing in this essay. I think I made them to the appropriate people.
That done, remaining an Amazon VP would have meant, in effect, signing off on actions I despised. So I resigned.
The victims weren’t abstract entities but real people; here are some of their names: Courtney Bowden, Gerald Bryson, Maren Costa, Emily Cunningham, Bashir Mohammed, and Chris Smalls.
I’m sure it’s a coincidence that every one of them is a person of color, a woman, or both. Right?
Let’s give one of those names a voice. Bashir Mohamed said “They fired me to make others scared.” Do you disagree?
[There used to be a list of adjectives here, but voices I respect told me it was mean-spirited and I decided it didn’t add anything so I took it out.]
What about the warehouses? · It’s a matter of fact that workers are saying they’re at risk in the warehouses. I don’t think the media’s done a terribly good job of telling their stories. I went to the video chat that got Maren and Emily fired, and found listening to them moving. You can listen too if you’d like. Up on YouTube is another full-day videochat; it’s nine hours long, but there’s a table of contents, you can decide whether you want to hear people from Poland, Germany, France, or multiple places in the USA. Here’s more reportage from the NY Times.
It’s not just workers who are upset. Here are Attorneys-general from 14 states speaking out. Here’s the New York State Attorney-general with more detailed complaints. Here’s Amazon losing in French courts, twice.
On the other hand, Amazon’s messaging has been urgent that they are prioritizing this issue and putting massive efforts into warehouse safety. I actually believe this: I have heard detailed descriptions from people I trust of the intense work and huge investments. Good for them; and let’s grant that you don’t turn a supertanker on a dime.
But I believe the worker testimony too. And at the end of the day, the big problem isn’t the specifics of Covid-19 response. It’s that Amazon treats the humans in the warehouses as fungible units of pick-and-pack potential. Only that’s not just Amazon, it’s how 21st-century capitalism is done.
Amazon is exceptionally well-managed and has demonstrated great skill at spotting opportunities and building repeatable processes for exploiting them. It has a corresponding lack of vision about the human costs of the relentless growth and accumulation of wealth and power. If we don’t like certain things Amazon is doing, we need to put legal guardrails in place to stop those things. We don’t need to invent anything new; a combination of antitrust and living-wage and worker-empowerment legislation, rigorously enforced, offers a clear path forward.
Don’t say it can’t be done, because France is doing it.
Poison · Firing whistleblowers isn’t just a side-effect of macroeconomic forces, nor is it intrinsic to the function of free markets. It’s evidence of a vein of toxicity running through the company culture. I choose neither to serve nor drink that poison.
What about AWS? · Amazon Web Services (the “Cloud Computing” arm of the company), where I worked, is a different story. It treats its workers humanely, strives for work/life balance, struggles to move the diversity needle (and mostly fails, but so does everyone else), and is by and large an ethical organization. I genuinely admire its leadership.
Of course, its workers have power. The average pay is very high, and anyone who’s unhappy can walk across the street and get another job paying the same or better.
Spot a pattern? · At the end of the day, it’s all about power balances. The warehouse workers are weak and getting weaker, what with mass unemployment and (in the US) job-linked health insurance. So they’re gonna get treated like crap, because capitalism. Any plausible solution has to start with increasing their collective strength.
What’s next? · For me? I don’t know, genuinely haven’t taken time to think about it. I’m sad, but I’m breathing more freely.
Comment feed for ongoing:
From: Maren Costa (May 04 2020, at 00:07)
Thank you Tim. Please keep in touch!
From: Letu (May 04 2020, at 00:20)
Sad to see you leave. Thank you for the helps through the last few years! All the best!
From: Karthik (May 04 2020, at 01:43)
Thank you for standing up for justice. Climate Change and workers rights are related. And the problems can’t wait any longer if humanity is to survive, Thank you for doing what you did, to speak truth to power.
From: Travis Smith (May 04 2020, at 01:46)
I’m proud of you.
From: Simone Brunozzi (May 04 2020, at 02:26)
Tim, I was at AWS 2008-2014, we never crossed path as you arrived later. It takes big balls to do something like this. Work-wise, you will be allright. Hopefully your decision to quit will contribute to a better conversation on the subject. Thanks for your sacrifice.
From: Adi (May 04 2020, at 02:43)
Thanks Tim. The reward will come in the end. God bless you.
From: Bruno (May 04 2020, at 02:56)
Thanks for standing up for what's right.
From: Mikael Eiman (May 04 2020, at 03:15)
Thank you for having ideals and acting accordingly.
From: Okta (May 04 2020, at 03:42)
It's a shame that your resignation was accepted to begin with. Kudos for your bravery!
From: Jason Grossman (May 04 2020, at 03:42)
From: Jack (May 04 2020, at 03:46)
I've not followed your blog for a while (mea culpa) but I never thought I'd get back just to post a WELL DONE! comment. You did the right thing and the world needs more people like you.
From: Lee Dale (May 04 2020, at 03:52)
Sorry to hear you were pushed to this, Tim. But glad to know you were able to escalate internally and show your support through your actions. I hope there’s enough momentum through your efforts and those of your peers to make some positive change for the workers who need it most.
From: Alex (May 04 2020, at 03:58)
Thanks for taking this stand.
From: afwaller (May 04 2020, at 04:13)
That’s a strong, principled move. You’re giving up a lot. I really respect your decision.
From: Andrew Ritchie (May 04 2020, at 04:15)
Thankyou for your courage in taking action and speaking up about this.
From: KD (May 04 2020, at 04:42)
Thanks for doing the right thing, Tim. We need more people like yourself fighting against injustice.
From: John Skinner (May 04 2020, at 04:55)
*stands up and applauds*
From: Mark (May 04 2020, at 05:09)
You did the right thing, thank you.
From: Rick Nambo (May 04 2020, at 05:19)
You're doing God's work, son. Seriously, if more folks in the C-Suite actually conducted themselves with some morals and ethics as opposed to acting like life-sucking vampires then perhaps we wouldn't be in this situation? It seems our economic system encourages dog-eat-dog morality (it's only wrong if you get punished, getting caught doesn't matter any more), it's disturbing how quick people are today jump and defend it.
From: Sherry (May 04 2020, at 05:25)
I can’t recall any other executives doing what you have done. The fact that you were fully aware and passionate about the rights of warehouse employees speaks volumes. Resigning rather than remaining in an environment that refuses to effect change, especially when they can, bolsters the cause.
It’s also brave. Wishing you a prosperous future in all the ways.
From: issac (May 04 2020, at 05:32)
thank you for your strong stance on this issue. it feels as if there are fewer people truly guided by principle all the time. this is what it takes to make the world better.
From: Cathy T (May 04 2020, at 05:33)
Thank you sir. I admire your integrity and honesty. I didn’t think there were too many men like you left in the 21st century You’ve helped to keep my hope for the future alive.
From: Leon Roy (May 04 2020, at 05:55)
Hats off to you sir for standing up for those folks who were fighting for better working conditions. Resigning, especially in this job market is a very courageous act indeed and inspires other techies like myself to hold ourselves to higher standards should we face a similar dilemma.
From: shaun (May 04 2020, at 06:08)
From: Johan Zeeman (May 04 2020, at 06:11)
Wow! You don’t know me at all, but I’ve been vaguely following your career since the Open Text days. Today I need to unlurk to tell you how impressed and moved I am by your actions here. I hope everything works out well for you and your family, and that this might be a little seed of something that leads to greater change.
From: Julie Domeny (May 04 2020, at 06:32)
Tim Bray, What the world needs now is to see people standing up for what is right in spite of financial loss. Thank you.
From: Janson (May 04 2020, at 06:33)
As a fellow tech worker, it's inspiring to see one with similar privilege take a stand. Too often, it's those of the rank and file who make noise and are subsequently silenced or ignored—cough, (W).
So, thank you.
From: Beth (May 04 2020, at 06:50)
Thank you for having a conscience and following it. And for posting such a thorough, compassionate, and illuminating explanation. The bar shouldn't be that low, but these are the times we are living in. Good luck.
From: Cailin (May 04 2020, at 07:00)
Thank you for being brave and taking a stand. History will remember you well.
From: kf (May 04 2020, at 07:09)
thank you for saying their names Courtney Bowden, Gerald Bryson, Maren Costa, Emily Cunningham, Bashir Mohammed, Chris Smalls
From: Vaso (May 04 2020, at 07:10)
The line between warehouse employee and customer is quite blurry, so what is shocking is that Amazon would risk potential customers.
From: Paul Morriss (May 04 2020, at 07:14)
I hope the fact that a VP is resigning doing this has some effect. I also hope that you find the right amount of work when you want to start again. (Recalling what you said a while back about not wanting to fully retire, if I remember rightly.)
From: Gavin B (May 04 2020, at 07:14)
And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
[Tim]e to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair —
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin —
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
From: Nick (May 04 2020, at 07:14)
Thanks for doing the right thing, Tim. I know it's not easy, even if it's easier for some of us than others.
From: Chandana (May 04 2020, at 07:14)
Thank you for standing up for those who do not have the means to fight back!
From: Kia Mistilis (May 04 2020, at 07:15)
I'm reading this in Greece. Two things come to mind:
-You have taken an ethical stand for the common good and can sleep with a clear conscience. That's priceless.
-Your stand will have.a positive effect, even if it's not evident now or in the near future.
From: Chris (May 04 2020, at 07:22)
Given the timing and the circumstances I'd guessed this to be the case. Speaking as someone who's admired your work longer than you've been at Amazon, and who was thrilled to see you join us, I'm 💔but proud of you for sticking to your principles.
From: Ramon (May 04 2020, at 07:25)
Biggest respect and all the best Tim.
From: Karl Groves (May 04 2020, at 07:29)
Much respect for taking this action, Tim. Doing the right thing is often painful, which I'm sure this has been, but you've done everything right here.
From: Ani Balasubramaniam (May 04 2020, at 07:33)
Good on you for taking a stand! I'm no longer at Amazon as well and by the time I left, it was not the company I'd joined.
It was an honor getting to know you during my stint in Vancouver. I'd love to keep in touch!
From: Luis Sosa (May 04 2020, at 07:41)
In the midts of a pandemic that has shown our world leaders so lacking in moral fiber I am inspired to see an example of the opposite. Thank you!
From: Norbert Montalescot (May 04 2020, at 07:54)
Thoughtful essay, and commandable action, but one cannot dissociate it from the power and celebrity position of Tim Bray himself (he does not need the job).
The whole issue at hand is much more complex, than celebrity posturing, and political.
Just one interesting question (which does not seem to have an answer right now, but could easily have approximation): what's the size of the discontent in Amazon warehouse workers population? I am guessing (completely wildly), very very marginal.
From: Intentionally Anonymous (May 04 2020, at 07:55)
Thank you Tim,
As someone still at Amazon who falls into many of the categories you mention, I won't reveal my actual name.
It is refreshing to see a VP stand up for their principles but sad to see, like Chee before you, that the end result is you are no longer at the company.
I wish you the best of luck in your future and hope, at some point, Amazon leadership recognizes that inclusion goes beyond words. Running a million person company and being Right A Lot requires actually seeking diverse perspectives.
From: Jasmine (May 04 2020, at 08:02)
Thanks for standing by your values and supporting activist efforts - as a college student, this is the kind of moral leadership I hope to show!
From: Cindy (May 04 2020, at 08:06)
Thank you. You are a beacon of light.
I hope this causes everyone to really look at the situation in the warehouse and the ethics of those who run the company. Hopefully public pressure will cause them to change. You will be a great asset to any company, and an awesome person to work for.
From: Jean Hominal (May 04 2020, at 08:12)
Thank you for taking this stand.
From: Rick H (May 04 2020, at 08:18)
The problem is there is a massively huge disparity between people who get paid like a VP/Distinguished Engineer and those who get paid like an FC worker. It's nice to quit in protest, but you will rapidly find a new gig paying the same amount somewhere else and driving the same inequity in the system. People need to be paid a livable wage and those who are getting paid excessive amounts need to give some of it up.
From: Craig Wiesner (May 04 2020, at 08:21)
Thank you so much for your courage and very well balanced statement. You see the good and the bad and the possible.
From: Paul (May 04 2020, at 08:26)
Have to respect your values.
From: Lori O. (May 04 2020, at 08:33)
As one who was so thoroughly disenchanted with the field that I literally 'took a break', I am both surprised and happy at the same time.
I went back to school later in life to earn two degrees in C.S. and found it more likely for my fellow coding enthusiasts to be more concerned with ego than political awareness or class consciousness.
I applaud you and thank you for giving me a little lift. I know that you will be rewarded for your sacrifice.
Now, if we could fix a great deal of what is wrong in the 'industry', including the overwhelming hardships for those who don't fit into the 'mold' of finding work (this includes H1-B).
From: Reza (May 04 2020, at 08:33)
Thank you! ❤️
I wish we had more powerful people like you in the company.
From: Jimmy (May 04 2020, at 08:34)
Tim - you're the type of leader I can get behind. Not enough folks in your position willing to call out BS like you did. Most just toe the line. I don't work at Amazon, but your actions remind me of William Wallace in Braveheart and I would be right behind you in battle at any time. Too bad I'm not an engineer so I could work in your organization.
From: Daniel (May 04 2020, at 08:40)
Thank you for sharing your experience and for taking such a clear stand in what you believe, especially with what you have had to give up to do it.
I hope your story will inspire others to do what they know is right but is not always easy.
Thanks again, the world definitely needs more people like you!
From: Henry Chan (May 04 2020, at 08:46)
My salute to you fine sir. Please keep me posted on your next venture. Salute.
From: Brandy (May 04 2020, at 08:47)
I just wanted to say that I'm proud of you for sharing this & taking a stand. It's unfortunate that Amazon workers have lost yet another an incredible ally. Thank you for sharing this.
From: John Clark (May 04 2020, at 08:52)
Leaving the best job you've had over principle is inspiring.
I was at good job with poor leadership and was laid off. Still I feel good about not going back and looking forward to the future in these uncertain times.
I'm excited for your future and how you are helping to make the world a better place. I'm positive you'll look back at the blues as a part what defines you, as we all will have to do. Best to you!
From: Kim Baer (May 04 2020, at 09:08)
It matters so much that someone with your reputation is taking this kind of stand.
It's an inspiration to all of us to do the same in our own way.
May there be a ripple effect, and may you be rewarded down the line with even better opportunities for having done the right thing.
From: PD (May 04 2020, at 09:12)
Thanks Tim for this principled stand. As an AWS employee, I am always conflicted about the impact of what we do, on those around us. You will be sorely missed at AWS. Hope it spurs some change within.
From: Nick P (May 04 2020, at 09:14)
A principled and honest stand. The world is a better place for people like you.Thank you
From: Edward (May 04 2020, at 09:17)
When you say AWS treats people humanely your overlooking the physical plant. I have never spoken to any one who has ever worked at an Amazon data center who had a good word to say about their work experience.
From: Ted (May 04 2020, at 09:33)
Thank you Tim.
From: Diane Olberg (May 04 2020, at 09:36)
Thank you for this. Amazon is so important to so many home-bound people right now. It's heartbreaking to know about the cost of its services in terms of human health and dignity.
From: M.J. (May 04 2020, at 09:40)
There's a British human rights activist it might be worth your while contacting (if you haven't already done so): Craig Murray, the former Ambassador to Uzbekistan. He was concerned about torture, and made his concerns known. Result: end of brilliant career! Sound familiar? So maybe a kindred soul for you there.
Oh, and you might want to write a book!
From: Dan (May 04 2020, at 09:48)
Congratulations, Mr. Bray! It's strange to have to congratulate someone for doing the right thing and being a decent human being, but that's where we are in today's corporate-run America.
Hopefully this inspires ordinary Americans to take back their democracies from corporate-backed politicians.
Force your politicians to work for you and create laws that protect all of us and the environment. It's actually healthier for the economy (the constant drum "they" beat when trying to explain why "we" can't have nice things), nevermind the planet and society...
From: Alex (May 04 2020, at 09:51)
Thank you. Immense respect and appreciation to you for this. Both for your decision and your public articulation of the reasons.
From: Tara (May 04 2020, at 10:07)
Thank you for your actions and for speaking out about them, Tim. This is very impressive.
From: Andy (May 04 2020, at 10:08)
It's very noble of you but I don't think anything is stopping Amazon's monopolistic tear. Once they've crushed every possible competitor we will all be at their mercy.
Please everyone STOP BUYING STUFF FROM AMAZON
you don't need it
From: Paul Boddie (May 04 2020, at 10:15)
I am proud of you for what you have chosen to do, Tim!
In all your enthusiasm for your job and workplace, I always wondered how you managed to reconcile your relative good fortune with the widely reported, exploitative practices going on elsewhere within the Amazon empire, particularly those experienced by your colleagues in warehousing and fulfillment.
It should mean something to those who feel that they have no other choice but to take that work, unpleasant and unsafe as it may be, that someone having your position and with much to lose took their side. If only more people in situations like yours did the same.
From: Cary (May 04 2020, at 10:17)
The answer to corporate greed at the expense of workers in a capitalist structure is to organize and join a union.
From: Gary M (May 04 2020, at 10:27)
Well done for doing what some would consider a foolish act.
It's not often that the morals of a situation overcome the commercials.
Hats off to you Sir
From: Sherill (May 04 2020, at 10:33)
From: Meisenheimer (May 04 2020, at 10:33)
Proud to be able to say "I know that guy."
Wish I could do something about the stock vestings but all I've got for you is an Attaboy award. Attaboy.
From: James Gosling (May 04 2020, at 10:36)
Great letter. I struggle with the contradictions every day.
From: Claire (May 04 2020, at 10:36)
Thank you very much for your stand and this important article, which I've shared. While I do believe that Amazon is not evil and the people working there have good intentions, I think that, as you put it, all the money/power has gone to peoples' heads. Warehouse workers need to unionize - that is the only way to be strong enough to stand up to the power imbalance. Amazon has also hurt many third-party merchants, including by being essentially unreachable during this crisis. Again, I don't think the intentions are bad, but the outcomes certainly are, and therefore the intentions don't matter.
From: Yasin (May 04 2020, at 10:37)
Thank you for the post, your insight, and for standing up for others.
From: History rePetes Seeger (May 04 2020, at 10:46)
You're a real one, Tim.
From: Darren (May 04 2020, at 11:02)
Tremendous amount of respect for your actions here Tim. Thanks for doing the right thing, and being brave enough to tell the world.
From: Alicia Goodwin (May 04 2020, at 11:07)
Thank you thank you! Software developers have more power than they realize. They run the show, and I believe they are an integral part of any real corporate reform. If more of you made demands, we'd see real change faster because without you, there is no internet capitalism. Thank you for setting this powerful example.
From: Rand W (May 04 2020, at 11:07)
THANK YOU Tim!!!!
It is high time Amazon became more fair and responsible!
From: Concerned Well Informed Professional (May 04 2020, at 11:08)
Leadership starts with credibility and credibility starts with actions that have consequences - in these and in all other times.
I admire you for your giving voice to those who are voiceless. We all know you did not have to do this. We also know it may or may not make a difference. This is precisely why I admire you. You choose to act unconditionally and with some significant consequences.
I am rooting for your success and we have a chance to pull back here - by getting everyone back to their jobs that got fired or became collateral damage - and making them a voice for change for better at Amazon. I wish for this outcome and this tells a lot about what an entity Amazon wants to be.
From: Jeet (May 04 2020, at 11:24)
What an exemplary thing to do. Thank you.
From: Abe Pachikara (May 04 2020, at 11:24)
It's both very hard to leave a high paying job, but at the end of the day, pretty logistically easy. Not sure if it's still a tenet, but I am thinking of "Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit" and "Bias for Action."
It's easy, when we are kids, to view situations in a simple manner. But as we morph into adults, all too often we rationalize why the same situation is ok or does not justify action.
A big thanks for your nonviolent protest.
From: Carmela (May 04 2020, at 11:27)
Hi Tim, I admire your courage hugely and applaud it. Your bravery is especially admirable during this very difficult time. The piece you've written here is truly inspiring. After I read it, I wondered if you'd considered staying on (since you liked your team) and trying to effect culture change from within? (Or maybe that seemed hopeless?) As a company Amazon has always been ruthless, but now it seems just plain evil. Anyhow, wishing you all the best. I believe your integrity will be rewarded! Thanks for speaking up.
From: R (May 04 2020, at 11:30)
You don't realize that the *only* reason for Amazon to exist is to funnel enough money into Jeff Bezos' pockets to try and go to space?
That is why none of these resolutions (Climate, Unionization, etc.) will *ever* pass. Because of their low profitability they must squeeze out every ounce and maintain total control or this mission is ruined.
Kudos to you for taking a stand.
From: Raj (May 04 2020, at 11:31)
Tim - it takes real courage to walk the talk. The sacrifice you made in terms of career and financial rewards is significant. Your actions are inspiring and I will keep this mind while i pursue my goals.
From: To afraid to say (May 04 2020, at 11:36)
Hopefully Amazon leadership takes notice and public pressure from such a departure sets a different course for Amazon as a whole.
From inside AWS I have also witnessed a slow COVID response from leaders waiting to make decisions because they want to "see how things go."
Many of us are not in a position of losing $1M (so we know you've got money in the bank and lots of options), but you are brave nonetheless. Appreciate your candor and standing up/speaking out for those less fortunate.
From: Frank StMaly (May 04 2020, at 11:37)
Takes bravery to do that and I admire it. Never waver in your belief that you did a good thing. Maybe the only thing. I’ve been there and I’d do it again.
From: Roger Broadhurst (May 04 2020, at 11:40)
You are a brave human being and we need more like you: people with integrity and courage. Some might say it's easy to be brave when you're privileged and will do well no matter what, but I don't agree with that: people who do what's right and say what's true despite what everyone around them are doing and saying are our only hope against the nightmares that lurk so near the surface of our society.
From: Jeff Adams (May 04 2020, at 11:40)
...and I thought all the men of good conscience were dead. Thanks for proving me wrong.
From: Oanh Duong (May 04 2020, at 11:40)
I used to work for Amazon at one of their warehouse at Lebanon,TN. I quit before the pandemic started and I know the warehouse is very dirty. I do not believe any of their site would close down for three days for cleaning. Amazon will be losing money. I am glad you stand up for your peers and for us the little people that work hard to make sure we have a job and put food on the table for our family. Thanks Tim.
From: Meg Brady (May 04 2020, at 11:50)
Thank you for your support, Tim Bray! Meg from MSP1
From: Bruno (May 04 2020, at 11:54)
Thanks so much for doing this. I used to dream of working at Amazon but not anymore, not for a company that treats their weakest like replaceable cogs that can be easily silences. Please consider helping us that support Democratic Socialism. Cheers!
From: Erick C (May 04 2020, at 12:00)
Hi. At the end of your blog you mention that AWS essentially is trying and their diversity problem matches everyone else in the tech industry. This portion for me, as a former AWS employee and a person of color, is indicative of yours and others in AWS believing that things were going well inside of your bubble. AWS' diversity problem can't be ignored simply because everyone else is bad at it too. Someone needs to be a trail blazer for diversity and AWS is not doing anything close to enough about it. That lends to the problems throughout the rest of Amazon. If AWS was so great, they would push the boundaries for the rest of Amazon to improve.
I appreciate that you left for your principles and to show support for the whistleblowers, but the ending of your blog praises AWS for essentially doing nothing and almost nullifies the rest of your story.
From: Elizabeth Cullingford (May 04 2020, at 12:00)
Thank you for your principled stand. Can I suggest that your next move be helping to organize those of us who feel that this pandemic is our last chance to turn the world in a direction that will allow the human race to continue? you are already interested in the climate justice movement. You have a voice and a presence. You understand business as well as justice. The world needs your help, and so do those of us who were rash enough to have children before we fully understood what we were letting them in for. Please help us! Liz
From: Donald Lepsch (May 04 2020, at 12:12)
An unbelievable selfless act for humanity. Thank you. Most people in low wage jobs are accustomed to continuous threat of job loss with the intent of making them work harder...very stressful. The world is a much better place because of people like you. Money or happiness ...a simple choice ...but some times very hard to decide. You are a shining example.
From: Peter (May 04 2020, at 12:13)
I respect your conviction.
From: Timo Van-Kissing (May 04 2020, at 12:15)
Thanks for this write-up and of course for standing up for those with less power.
From: Simon Jones (May 04 2020, at 12:15)
Putting your money where your mouth is - principle plus. Bravo, sir.
From: Margaux B (May 04 2020, at 12:17)
Honorable. And you spoke out - a person who will be heard. Thank you.
Will it encourage Amazon to view their employees as part of what makes them so great and listen first rather than react? Or will they just push faster for full robotics. The latter suits the culture.
I wish you the very best in your future endeavors.
From: Andrew Dugdale (May 04 2020, at 12:20)
Thank you for standing up for those who can't.
From: Barton Stanley (May 04 2020, at 12:20)
I greatly respect your actions. It's heartening to see a ranking person put people ahead of profit and personal gain. Gives me hope others may one day do the same.
From: Tim Cook (May 04 2020, at 12:22)
It is beautifully courageous to leave nice paying job and take such a stand. Requires a lot of strong willpower. Just a bravo moment from fellow Canadian. What you are saying regarding Amazon's warehouse employees are quite logical especially where they dont have any other choice but succumb to the rules and work. Again, thanks for sharing.
From: Glenn (May 04 2020, at 12:23)
I don't know you personally, but I am moved to see an expression of morality and empathy that I genuinely feared had disappeared - particularly in higher socio-economic demographics, where exposure to, and therefore understanding of, complexities and pressures of life for our fellow humans with less opportunity limits our ability to understand.
I wish you all the very best, for you and your family, and eagerly await news of where you work (or what company you create) next - so I can maybe apply for a job :) It would be nice to work for a company with people with actual humanity for a change.
Your sacrifice is an inspiration.
From: Chris (May 04 2020, at 12:27)
Looks like you took the easy way out. You were in a good position to influence and fight and yet you bailed out. There is no sacrifice here, just used it as a pretext to resign.
From: wendy john (May 04 2020, at 12:35)
so utterly refreshing to read of your noble act. I commend you and respect your action.
From: dustin (May 04 2020, at 12:48)
thank you for doing the right thing.
From: Crystal (May 04 2020, at 12:54)
As a physician in Seattle who’s seen the struggles that immigrant/low income families face as they navigate the risks of working vs the challenges of worsening poverty, thank you for writing this and taking action based on your principles. Here’s to hoping this might spark some change.
From: anonymous-fan (May 04 2020, at 12:57)
Thank you for taking a stand, Tim. We've never met but you POA talks and tech blogs have inspired me to keep learning. Its said that you were morally forced to leave. I wish you all the best in your endeavors. Thanks for everything.
From: J (May 04 2020, at 13:00)
Thank you for living by your morals, your courage to stand up against this is inspiring.
From: Jules (May 04 2020, at 13:01)
thank you Tim! i don't know you, i only learned your name today but i am truly thankful people like you exist in our industry.
big heartfelt virtual fistbump
From: Elton Chambers (May 04 2020, at 13:03)
Thank you for staying true to your principles.
From: Trinity (May 04 2020, at 13:13)
Wow, it takes a great deal of integrity and character to do this and I hope that your decision makes a difference at the company.
From: Andrew (May 04 2020, at 13:14)
As a lowly Amazon peon I cannot thank you more. I worked for Ring until it was purchased and the company went from incredible to work for to hell in the span of a few months. I wish Amazon cared but they don't. Its clear to me now. Thank you for being a voice for us Tim. I didn't think there were any good people at the high end of Amazon and it looks like there was at least one. Hopefully they don't see this. I need the insurance.
From: Aaron R (May 04 2020, at 13:18)
For those saying he took the easy road out...
[In some situations of authority] "the only winning move is not to play."
From: Arne (May 04 2020, at 13:19)
I applaud your courageous decision to stand up for what you think is right!
Wishing you all the best!
From: Larry tseng (May 04 2020, at 13:28)
I want to support you and the cause that you left Amazon for. I have left Amazon prime. Is there more to do to magnify this cause? Please put it in this blog post so readers of my times can easily find it!
From: Colin (May 04 2020, at 13:30)
I'm so proud of your decision and wish there were more executives with your morals and ethics. I hope you end up "walking across the street" and joining a new company that will cherish your views and encourage your efforts.
From: Bob (May 04 2020, at 13:31)
From: April (May 04 2020, at 13:32)
Thank you for standing in solidarity with other humans and adding to the collective voices trying to push real values and compassion.
From: Ash (May 04 2020, at 13:35)
I admire your courage, Tim! The world needs more people like you!
From: Kent Towers (May 04 2020, at 13:39)
Thank you for being real. I loved using Amazon, but I haven't been able to buy anything lately knowing how they treat workers. How much money do they need? Maybe this will help make a difference. Something clearly needs to change in this world & in the U.S. I wish Costco or some other company would launch a competitor to Amazon that didn't make me feel guilty about spending my money with them. Good luck in your future endeavors, something tells me you'll land on your feet sir!
From: Geoff Arnold (May 04 2020, at 13:47)
Thanks for your example, Tim. (And it's been too long...)
From: Michelle King (May 04 2020, at 13:56)
I work at an Amazon warehouse. Thank you for standing up for what is right. Not many people would do that in today's world. In the warehouse numbers are all that matter not the people.
From: To afraid to say (May 04 2020, at 13:58)
Hopefully Amazon leadership takes notice and public pressure from such a departure sets a different course for Amazon as a whole.
From inside AWS I have also witnessed a slow COVID response from leaders waiting to make decisions because they want to "see how things go."
Many of us are not in a position of losing $1M (so we know you've got money in the bank and lots of options), but you are brave nonetheless. Appreciate your candor and standing up/speaking out for those less fortunate.
From: John Martin (May 04 2020, at 14:03)
THANK YOU, for following your values and taking a stand. The values of Amazon are not at all aligned with those of the city and region that hosts the company. I am trilled to see someone with backbone. Will this inspire change at Amazon? Only the future will tell, but I would guess that sadly, no.
From: Hater (May 04 2020, at 14:05)
Noble decision! Will they sue you?
Please fix the following if possible:
"What with big-tech salaries and share vestings"
From: Matthew Semerko (May 04 2020, at 14:05)
Thank you. I wish more people in similar positions of power could come to the same conclusion:compassion can coexist within capitalism.
From: Ian Ragsdale (May 04 2020, at 14:08)
I just want to join the chorus of folks thanking you for this action. It really shows your principles and I appreciate your standing up for them.
From: Mike (May 04 2020, at 14:11)
Thank you Tim.
From: PY (May 04 2020, at 14:13)
From: Alexander Falk (May 04 2020, at 14:14)
Well done, Tim! I applaud you for standing up for the whistleblowers and taking this step.
From: Sravani (May 04 2020, at 14:16)
Tim, thanks for sharing your voice and providing support to those who need it.I am inspired by the way you you handled this issue.
From: Christine (May 04 2020, at 14:27)
Thank you Tim for repeatedly doing the right thing as a professional, an Amazonian, and a human. There is an imbalance in application of the leadership principles at Amazon; a source of great frustration for me before my time ended. Keep the bar raised high, there will be many great things to come!
From: Mark (May 04 2020, at 14:45)
Bravo! Thanks for your courage and moral compass!
From: Not_my_real_name (May 04 2020, at 14:48)
This is just a simple statement of respect and support.
You did the right thing.
I went through approximately the same movie myself. That company doesn´t exist anymore! Let´s just say it might have been anyone from Oracle (they exist) to EDS (I believe they don´t) etc etc but then again it could have been Boeing (wobbling?).. I´m reticent to say. You on the other hand have been braver. I did talk to the press at the time but it was impractical to get a story together. It was after all "just another story."
What appalled me most of all was that all that seemed to matter to those that I disagreed with was "the bottom line". There were no (!!) scruples as to how they fluffed it up.
Life is short, and getting shorter. If you can afford to walk away then you will feel better. I think that I must presume for you that walking away has not been an existential issue. I say that because others that have your values might feel trapped. The fact that they haven´t acted should not be held against them. Whereas there are how many others in a situation like yourself that could do the same?
From: Carl Pham (May 04 2020, at 14:50)
Honestly, sounds like Amazon and its customers (e.g. me) are well rid of you. You sound like someone who -- like a lot of our Hollywood actors -- has mistaken the fact that you are paid a lot of money and your product is very successful for some kind of mandate from the people to be exercising social and political leadership.
We have Representative, Governors, and Presidents for that kind of thing. People we elect. Actors should focus on acting well. Singers should sing well. And engineers for Amazon should I think focus on doing really good programming and getting us Amazon services that are the best quality for the lowest price. Leave your social justice issues for your private life (and our private lives) -- donate money to the right campaigns, say, or vote for the right people, or agitate (in your private time) for your favorite causes.
But keep it out of the workplace. If nothing else, you make people who *don't* share your social and political ideology deeply uncomfortable, and make it hard for them to get their job done.
From: David (May 04 2020, at 15:00)
We only have one square inch of values to defend - and you have done so with honor.
From: Kate DiPasquale (May 04 2020, at 15:06)
Tim, many thanks you and others who've the fortitude, to stand and speak for so many. When Billionaire greed, overruns human compassion, its time to make a change.
Jeff Bezos is a blood sucking, self-absorbed egomaniac whose P.R. campaign is completely transparent. Instead of complaining America, boycott. Cancel Amazon,Prime, and affiliates (Whole Foods). I. Just. Did.
From: DJC (May 04 2020, at 15:06)
I'd have to say this is not a failure of capitalism, but of corporatism. A trillion dollar company and a guy starting a tow truck business with his savings houldn't be confused. But kudos to your desire to leave the lucrative corporate vampire that is Amazon.
From: Black Man (May 04 2020, at 15:07)
Your act was nothing short of noble and will be remembered forever. Black men across Amazon are routinely managed out or fired to maintain their plantation-like control. Amazon fire so many that they actually find themselves rehiring many of them just to stay operational. Your words are so true and I trust that one day our politicians and workers will all rise to the occasion and tell Amazon there's no place in our society for heavy handed organizations. Shout out to Chris Bashir, Emily and Maren.
From: Mehal (May 04 2020, at 15:08)
I left Amazon shortly before the 2015 NYTimes article. I wrote a "rebuttal to rebuttals" on LinkedIn where I basically said that the article was likely accurate, that Amazon's response was poor, but that Amazon was good at fixing things. "There's nothing wrong with Amazon that can't be fixed by what's right with Amazon" is how I closed the essay.
It's disappointing to see that for some people, things have gotten worse. Props to you for stepping away.
From: anna (May 04 2020, at 15:09)
you are a brave man, standing up for what is right at personal peril. it is heartening to read what you've done and it's my hope that it will inspire others to act with their conscience. may you sleep a little better.
From: Amanda F. Smith (May 04 2020, at 15:12)
Thanks for doing what is right and speaking out for the people that can not get their voices heard. It is rare for someone with so much power to stand up for the powerless, but it shouldn't be. I hope more people with the ability to change the way that the average worker is treated and paid at these giant corporations looks to your example as one to emulate.
You'll find something better and you will continue to live by your morals and ethics just as you are doing now.
Good luck, sir!
From: Lizzie (May 04 2020, at 15:14)
Thank you for doing the right thing and speaking out.
From: Fred Starkis (May 04 2020, at 15:14)
You quitting honorable over the firings of the warehouse whisteblowers is honorable, but unfortunately won't amount to much more than a Jerry McGuire moment. It will bring you peace of mind, but you're out $1M and at the end of the day it doesn't change how Amazon is run.
It's unfortunate that Bezos doesn't stand up to this and actually does something about it. It's clear what kind of puny man he is, he sees everyone who works under him as disposable (it's well known that Amazon tech workers are viewed lower than management since they're replaceable).
Nothing will change until the workers unionize and government steps in.
From: Amanda (May 04 2020, at 15:15)
Thank you! It's very hard for working people to organize in the United States. Your stand is deeply appreciated.
From: franni (May 04 2020, at 15:15)
You have just done an amazing thing, both for yourself and others. You used your voice, power and position so that others might find and enjoy theirs. This is basic goodness and compassion. I hope its contagious, too...
You are a hero in sad times, thank you
From: J (May 04 2020, at 15:16)
As a lowly mTurker, thank you for your courage!
From: Quentin Guobadia (May 04 2020, at 15:20)
I very much admire your principles and lack of patience for the platitudes you must have be given to justify the firings. Ideally such an unambiguous and high profile departure will both empower sustained mobilization by workers and prompt critical reflection for those in charge (though by you doing this, it must be a dire state of the culture within Amazon).
From: Charles L (May 04 2020, at 15:31)
All, if you're wondering what true leadership is, you've just seen it in action: Standing up for what's right, acting /w integirty, and looking after your people. This case is similar to the recent termination of the captain of an aircraft carrier because he exercised concern for his crew.
We need more people like them. Well done Tim. No doubt, you'll have a long line of people wanting to work for you wherever you end up next. Best regards.
From: Oran (May 04 2020, at 15:39)
Your actions give me hope. Thank you.
I am often afraid that it is inevitable for the powerful to salve the discomfort of their conscience with the privilege from their exploitation, and thus never attend to the withering of their humanity and all humanity.
Your actions give me hope that this is not inevitable, and so I am less afraid for the future. Even the the tiniest amount of hope, as it is, means everything.
From: Ian Vickridge (May 04 2020, at 15:39)
C'mon France - give this wonderful man the Legion d'Honneur - Allez! il le vaut bien!
From: Talha Ahmed (May 04 2020, at 15:44)
Tim, I don’t know you but I’m certainly inspired by what you did. You chose to do the right thing, never forget that.
Your deeds will not go unnoticed.
From: Mary Artibee (May 04 2020, at 15:45)
Thank you for being an exemplar for integrity and moral principle... so refreshing... Let imitation be the most sincere form of flattery.
From: Kalos (May 04 2020, at 15:46)
Hey Tim, I doubt you'll read this. But I have a question that constantly comes to mind whenever I see a story about Amazon warehouse culture.
Do you believe it comes from the top down at a regional/site level?
My experience thus far coming up from a seasonal, to a L5 manager (with no degree) is amazing. I have loved every warehouse I've worked in and the trend has been that leadership has always cared. Every action item related to associate experience was accomplished. Every network rollout related to associate experience or safety to my recollection was swiftly met with support and held to a high standard.
I sincerely think the issue really does lie with our true manager not redistributing properly based on associate experience. The associates will hit the rates, if engaged properly. I've proved that in my ~3 years of experience.
It saddens me that we've lost you. We will continue to lose more if this issue is not solved. I have the solutions, albeit on a site level. I can only do so much.
From: Barry Roeder (May 04 2020, at 15:51)
It's so refreshing to read about a prominent individual who puts his money where his mouth is. Keep blowing the whistle and know that millions of us are listening and doing what we can to change the status quo.
From: Jeffs_Mom (May 04 2020, at 15:52)
Looks like you need to move this site to a larger instance :P
From: Sandy (May 04 2020, at 15:53)
It is illegal for a company to fire workers for protected concerted activity. The National Labor Relations Act prohibits such firings. Demands for a safer workplace are protected by this law. Concerted activity is by 2 or more people. Fired or punished workers can contact a labor union and prepare a complaint to the NLRB. Amazon is committing unfair labor practices which are illegal.
From: Megan (May 04 2020, at 15:59)
It's refreshing to read a concise no-nonsense response to the situation.
No hyperbole, no equivocation, just straight shooting truth from an insider moved to action by what they experienced.
From: AWS Lackey 9001 (May 04 2020, at 16:00)
Thanks for standing up publicly Tim. If Amazon wants to become the supplier of everything, it needs to take social responsibility seriously. Yet the company continues to think about PR outcomes first, social outcome second. As you clearly state, this is a natural outcome of poorly regulated capitalism and we have models of change, primarily regulation.
I would add that the AWS model feels okay because the exploitation is largely far away and invisible, in the mines that extract the materials that are eventually refined to become EC2 instances. People talk about ethical sourcing for consumer goods - we need to talk about it for DC computing as well!
From: Bill (May 04 2020, at 16:15)
A few things here don't make sense to me, I'd like to elaborate on what those are.
The AECJ open letter doesn't strike me as scientific. Amazon only seems to have a 3% profit margin which isn't considerably different than other companies in the sector; this doesn't strike me as "resources and scale" since it could be very effectively wiped out with even a modest change. And economists vary quite considerably on the issue of how to tackle climate change, pretty much the only reliable mechanism I'm aware of is a carbon emission tax—and it's not feasible for a single entity like Amazon to internalize an externality.
However I would speculate that by consolidating delivery services, warehousing, and data centers, Amazon has done more to reduce energy usage than any other company on the planet. (But this is my personal hypothesis.)
> leaders were threatened with dismissal.
Isn't related to walking off of the job, showing up when unscheduled, and repeatedly speaking on behalf of the company (a well known no-no)?
> and brutally insensitive remarks appeared in leaked executive meeting notes
Which is one person's opinion and not of the company. Boards use parliamentary procedure precisely to filter this stuff out. This is also a good example why employees typically cannot speak on behalf of the company, so this seems like a double standard.
> it was clear to any reasonable observer that they were turfed for whistleblowing.
I'm still not sure what the whistleblowers were calling to attention. Anything that's not already public knowledge? Something with a scientific basis behind it?
> I’m sure it’s a coincidence
If your theory is true, then there ought to be other activists who were not fired because they fit a different profile. Is this the case? Correlation is not causation.
> workers are saying they’re at risk in the warehouses.
Is there scientific evidence for this? We still don't well understand the transmission mechanism; but it seems to be lower outdoors and in large spaces with low talking; and seems to be unrelated to touch. Have there been documented cases inside a warehouse, and are those numbers worse than staying at home and not fulfilling orders?
> France is doing it.
That article strikes me as the worst possible outcome; people who would like to work cannot work even if they want to. You don't hear "I would like to stop working, but the government hasn't ordered me to yet." This makes no sense to me.
> because capitalism
I don't think this is a fair critique. I like the definition "a system of large capital investment that increases per-worker productivity" for a variety of reasons. And I think your complaint isn't related to this aspect, but I'm not sure what it could be.
I mean, I surely wouldn't want to be working on a pre-industrial farm—like vast majority of people before the 1900s. And there's not really any other systems sustainable for more than half a generation.
From: Captain Obvious (May 04 2020, at 16:24)
Get woke, go broke
From: Vali (May 04 2020, at 16:31)
Thank you for everything you have done. I respect your courage and your dedication to ethics.
I've been meaning to do something that makes it easy for workers everywhere to unionize - be it unskilled labor or be it IT workers - and for the union model to be one which good companies would love because it actually gets them better workers (think basic mandatory trainings & access to upskilling programs, for starters). I imagined an app would make it easy.
I hope someone like you can start the ball rolling in that direction; I would love to contribute what I can towards it. Protecting our companies and the larger working masses from the unethical, short-sighted decisions of a few bad managers is important.
From: Andrew Dugdale (May 04 2020, at 16:33)
As someone who has experienced the kind of punishment/retaliation you described for speaking up, I don't think those adjectives were "mean-spirited" at all. In fact, nearly all of that sentiment rang true for me. Just sayin'.
From: Shane (May 04 2020, at 16:43)
Great job Tim. You are part of a small group of corporate executives who really treat right from wrong and ignore the million dollar payout.
From: Melissa Sterry (May 04 2020, at 16:48)
Thank you for your ethical leadership Tim. May others soon follow where you have led.
From: Philipp Beyrl (May 04 2020, at 16:54)
You're a good guy Tim!
From: Rachel W (May 04 2020, at 16:54)
BRAVO!!! WELL SAID! THANK YOU FOR STANDING UP FOR WORKERS AND H
POSSESSING THE INTEGRITY TO DO SO!!
From: Josh Jetter (May 04 2020, at 16:58)
Way to show real leadership Tim. I know that wasn't an easy decision to make, but it matters a lot and I have a lot of respect for it.
From: Dan H. (May 04 2020, at 16:59)
Well said and so glad to see you were willing to act on your values. The reality is that the US sits at the core of crony capitalism. Unfortunately, Bezos sits atop this phenomenon. He and his billionaire brethren saw their wealth grow (on average) 25% in 2019. It might have taken a hit this year but a society which allows this level of wealth and yet provides not even the most basic safety net is truly broken.
From: Kat Hsu (May 04 2020, at 17:01)
Hi Tim, it's a breadth of fresh air to read your post. Thank you for standing on your core values to fight for folks that really needs help.
From: Alex (May 04 2020, at 17:03)
Great blog post. Thank you Mr. Bray. I hope your words and actions have a positive effect.
From: Mike Williams (May 04 2020, at 17:03)
Thank you Tim for standing up to the failure of Amazon's moral imagination.
I've thought of working for Amazon off and on in one of those high-paying jobs where many of my former colleagues in the sector now sit comfortably, but have never been able to square that with the unpleasantness of its lesser paid human environment.
We are members of families, states, nations and creeds that have mixed records on so many things. Whereas we can publicly engage with our families, states etc on the failures, it is so much harder to do it with the companies we work for, even though they contain our "found families" of co-workers.
From: Bill (May 04 2020, at 17:04)
Can you share any public comments from Amazon on your action and this post?
From: Elizabeth (May 04 2020, at 17:06)
In looking to see how I could leave a comment, I
realized with a chirp of a laugh, that embedded in
the title of your blog site, "tim bray ongoing", is
a foreshadow of your latest blog's focus. ie
tim bray, on going. Sorry for the pun. Well, maybe
not entirely, as I hope my recognition of it brings a
smile to your spirit. I really like that you honored
your code of ethics. Norbert (up there somewhere
in these comments), I think, doesn't grok yet that
what makes doing-so /not-doing-so so valuable
to many people is unrelated to how much or
how little your decision cost you financially.
I like that you, "snapped." That you didn't/don't
want to be complicit in those kinds of business
practices, that you did not "go rogue;" brought
your concerns as a VP/valued employee to the
correct administrators, and resigned because
you didn't/don't want to be part of a system that
treats a large segment of its employees
And I am heartened that you could and did afford
to honor your own code of ethics.
"Not everyone has your financial resources"---to
my mind is totally IRRELEVANT. I think it took
integrity. You have it, and you used it.
The fact that you did so has meant a lot to loads
of people, myself included. It boosted my
morale. 'Makes me smile.
From: Jayzonian (May 04 2020, at 17:08)
I applaud your backbone but, as an Amazonian, I've never met a L7 or below at AWS who had work life balance. I feel like this comment reinforces the disparity of senior leadership vs the masses.
Thank you for standing up for workers rights. Wherever you next land, be sure to keep an eye on what happens mid-level, too.
From: Larry (May 04 2020, at 17:09)
Thank you for your courage and honesty!
From: Peter Blakeley (May 04 2020, at 17:11)
Thanks for your courage in speaking up and acting Tim
From: Vishal (May 04 2020, at 17:23)
Dear Mr Tim Bray,
Its very refreshing to see your action at a time when we have become so self centered that only a handful truly care about things that matter.
I am sure it was not an easy decision.
I hope your action serves as an example for other leaders.
Wish you the best.
From: Tom Shannon (May 04 2020, at 17:25)
Wow, thank you for speaking out against big corporate fascism and for the self-sacrifice. You lead by example and are of impeccable character.
Best of luck in the future!!
From: Murray Barton (May 04 2020, at 17:31)
Massive kudos to you Tim. Good luck with whatever you take on next.
From: amazon fc worker (May 04 2020, at 17:32)
As a amazon warehouse worker for the last couple years I've seen this toxic atmosphere at work.It's always pushing to make high rate quotas,threats of work write ups, work stress injuries on your body that go unreported for fear of retribution.Latest issue is daily texts that more and more co-workers have been infected but won't list how many.The company puts on a good "smoke and mirrors" show, the media may be afraid to report on amazon's "indifferent"
treatment of employees.Thank for bringing this issue into the light even if it is for a moment
From: Amanda (May 04 2020, at 17:33)
Wow! I never comment on anything but I had to write to let you know what you did was AMAZING! It was courageous, ethical, and best of all you brought these issues into the light. Hopefully, we can start having conversations about it. Your parents must be very proud of you.
From: Mohammed (May 04 2020, at 17:34)
Such a pity that the richest person on the planet "can't afford" to do something good.
Hats off and HUGE respect to you Mr. Tim - you truly lived up to the title of being a "Distinguished" person among the many Engineers...by being so brave to stand in solidarity at a massive financial loss.
I'm very hopeful you'll end up in a much better spot. Hopefully soon! :-)
From: Michael (May 04 2020, at 17:35)
I want to acknowledge you for doing the "right " thing. We need more people like you who will exhibit the compassion and empathy so needed in this country's corporations no matter what happens. I fear so many businesses small to large will be devoured and bought by the likes Of Amazon, Google etc. It happened in the great recession and this will be far worse. I wish you the best life can offer
From: Brian (May 04 2020, at 17:36)
From: MaryMary (May 04 2020, at 17:39)
Courage defines you. You give voice to the voiceless. <3
From: Ced Simpson (May 04 2020, at 17:40)
"a combination of antitrust and living-wage and worker-empowerment legislation, rigorously enforced, offers a clear path forward."
I completely agree. I am appalled at so much of what is happening in the USA during the Covid-19 crisis (eg the meatpackers).
Well done on your stand.
From: sama (May 04 2020, at 17:41)
you did the right thing, good luck in the future
From: Allan Sund (May 04 2020, at 17:43)
Thank you Tim! You will sleep better.
From: Fazal Majid (May 04 2020, at 17:45)
Much respect for this courageous stand!
From: John (May 04 2020, at 17:47)
Thank you for standing up, for taking a stand for those usually to0 scared to take a stand. Your bravery will help promote change for the better.
From: Jeff J Hunter (May 04 2020, at 17:56)
Tim, this was really bold. I applaud you for standing up for what you believe. I do although also want to point out that as a leader in several organizations myself, it's very unfair to mention that this was firing "people of color". You also have to imagine that these people are possibly radicalized and outspoken? That is surely their right, and I support them if they truly are concerned about their safety. Either way, your life is about to change, and it took a lot of courage to do what you did.
From: Liam Quin (May 04 2020, at 17:57)
From: Bill Morton (May 04 2020, at 17:58)
"When something bad happens you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you."
From: David (May 04 2020, at 18:00)
Looks like I'm in the minority here, but I think you could have done more good by staying and working from the inside. With your departure, the movement has lost a leader and a well respected voice. By quitting you garnered a great headline that will be gone next week. Wish you would have stayed and continued fighting.
Nevertheless, totally respect your decision.
From: Nancy Helman (May 04 2020, at 18:04)
If that is the treatment and resistance of Amazon to not protect their workers, the buyers essential personnel, then I will resist buying from Amazon!!
From: Jonathan Vasquez (May 04 2020, at 18:06)
It takes courage to stand up to an entity that is doing unethical and immoral things, especially when you are inside the beast. Your conscience will be at peace. Thank you for doing this and stay safe!
From: Zac (May 04 2020, at 18:10)
Thank you Tim for taking this stand. Many of us at Amazon or AWS aren't financially able to do so, and I hope that you doing this helps others in leadership to see things differently and make change.
From: Robert Chung (May 04 2020, at 18:11)
Bravo Tim. Whatever company takes you next will be lucky and benefit not only from your knowledge and skill, but also your ethics (and frankly the PR boost haha).
I appreciate your sacrifice as well as admission of privilege.
From: yadda-yadda-freakin'-yadda: Brek Renzelman (May 04 2020, at 18:12)
Awesome, dude. Thanks for doing the right thing. But keep in mind, the price paid by most workers earning much, much less than you in any field is measured in the ability or inability just to survive after taking a stand. Stop congratulating yourself for doing the bare minimum of what should always be the humane response to global tragedy. Alright? What you did was great, but it wasn't all that great.
From: Aaron M. (May 04 2020, at 18:13)
Thank you. Having worked in call centres and corporate, I've seen how people can be treated as KPIs or treated well.
From: Mark (May 04 2020, at 18:13)
Thanks for writing this. It seems like we need a new kind of unionization for the 21st century. And you're right, the solution here is probably political rather than technical.
From: Kristal Conner (May 04 2020, at 18:14)
Thank you for your leadership Tim and for taking a stand. AWS has lost a much needed voice of truth and reason. Your courage is truly inspiring. As one of very few women of color at AWS, thank you for your compassion, bringing attention to the hostile treatment of women and minority employees, and for speaking truth to power.
From: Jomo (May 04 2020, at 18:31)
I Don’t work for anyone I own my own vending machine business but my sister works in a warehouse and all I have to say beyond that is
FOR BEING A MAN WITH MORALS !
From: Roen (May 04 2020, at 18:36)
Thanks for this, it was a really well written article. I guess I should move my stuff out of AWS sometime... I think that since Amazon is such a huge company this behavior will continue until more people rise up.
From: Emily (May 04 2020, at 18:42)
The world is lucky to have people like you in it.
From: Dele (May 04 2020, at 18:46)
Tim, you are a class act.
I don't know you but l have a lot of respect for you because you stand by your principle.
That money you thought you lose will come back to you in Five (5) fold.
You are the people CHAMP
From: Avigail (May 04 2020, at 18:46)
What you've done matters very much. Thank you.
From: Sabrina (May 04 2020, at 18:49)
Thank You! It takes a lot to step-down from a position like that for principle. Real leaders stand up like this for those who don't have a voice and you sir are a true leader.
From: Majla (May 04 2020, at 18:50)
Tim Bray for Nobel Prize. I would say that 99% of all applauding you will have no spine in face of clash between moral compass and greed. You are perhaps one in a million with a shining character and gold standard conscience.
If no else, God is going to look after you since you had been His trustee for the wellbeing and solace of His creation.
I am not sure if I would be able to do what you did with over 1 million dollars.
My conviction is that the Spiritual dollars are deposited in your account for the world hereafter.
I agree with an eafrlier comment that you are doing God's work
From: Jamaal Kendricks (May 04 2020, at 18:59)
Why do you keep using "we" when referring to your opinions about the future of Amazon? You no longer have anything to do with Amazon. Especially, six months down the road, long after your excitement and media relevance evaporate, you will be a forgotten dot in the history of Amazon.
Ask yourself, why would the media spend very little time reporting on this? What are the actual numbers? How many warehouse workers actually got sick? How many died? How are Amazon warehouse workers, today, in a less safe situation then the majority of other warehouse workers in the nation? What are the actual goals of the outside union employees being paid to turn Amazon employees into martyred activists?
From: Garrett (May 04 2020, at 19:14)
Thanks Tim, this is huge. We need more like you. But is AWS really off the hook? Were those accusations of strip-mining open source from other companies unfounded?
From: James (May 04 2020, at 19:24)
A White man speaking out for the good of the American workforce AND people of colour?
Once in a lifetime.
Thank you, Mr. Bray.
From: Larry Accardo (May 04 2020, at 19:27)
Thank you for standing up for us warehouse workers and others of Amazon.
From: Harald (May 04 2020, at 19:28)
You had me until "Only that’s not just Amazon, it’s how 21st-century capitalism is done." More nonsense from a culture that knows nothing about the Marxist legacies in eastern Europe and today's China
From: Zoe (May 04 2020, at 19:34)
It’s people like you, and actions like what you just did, that make me have hope for our society. Thank you for taking a stand, to encourage others to do what is right and humane, and pushing for fixing part of the brokenness of the American work culture. I hope you get another job at an even more amazing company, I’m sure another one of these companies will gladly snatch you up! Best of luck!
From: Anushan Easwaramoorthy (May 04 2020, at 19:37)
I'm proud of you Tim. Thanks for standing up.
From: Kathi (May 04 2020, at 19:37)
You are a hero. I have watched this for 40 years and have never seen anyone with such power actually step up for working people at such a cost.
From: Ex-Amazon SDE2 (May 04 2020, at 19:38)
Thank you very much for using your leverage as a high level VP for speaking out in favor of our most vulnerable. I've consistently wondered why there aren't more unions in our country when the internet has created unprecedented ability for people to connect, albeit not necessarily in an interpersonal basis.
If I were financially independent like you, I would've begun work on a unionization service where workers who want to unionize can do so. Of course, there are many obstacles, such as the fear of getting caught, then fired. There's a lack of trust that websites can keep confidential information secure, or that people controlling the confidential information will not uphold their end of responsibility. I believe a person with a great level of empathy like yourself can find a technical solution to all these problems while designing a service and I would really love to see something started in this direction, since it is clear that misinformation and willful ignorance is putting a big question as to whether self-government is doing its job in our current political climate.
From: Andrew Bowen (May 04 2020, at 19:52)
Mr Bray, The "little" people in an organization thank-you for bringing a voice that for profit major media seems to ignore.
Capitalism is currently run by the financially powerful. Men like you show that the people with powerful bank accounts are actually very weak.
I encourage my friends to vote with their dollars so that honesty in business becomes the norm. I believe that dishonesty is more harmful than murder and the recidivism rate is much higher for dishonest weak people.
Keep up the ethical work!
From: KB (May 04 2020, at 20:00)
From: Shannon (May 04 2020, at 20:07)
Good for you Tim! As a former Amazonian myself, the culture is vile all the way through. Better things will come to you my friend!
From: John Mcnamee (May 04 2020, at 20:08)
I too left Amazon on the same day as you after 3 years and 6 months due to the concerns of the workers and the slow reaction of being provided adequate protection when requested.
The associates were provided with unlimited time off but for those who attended no masks or cleaning materials were present for the first 3 weeks of the outbreak. For us as managers we were subjected to this as well but were not granted the additional time off even with the unsafe conditions. It was not until 2 weeks ago that masks became mandatory for every employee at our site.
The final nail in the coffin came for me when I was placed on a plan of improvement due to our performance as a shift on BHN. The decline was driven by our associates being afforded the ability to come and go as they felt necessary and never being fully staffed for over a month. The underlying factor to me was that I had brought to the attention of senior leadership that we were not providing a safe work environment for all of the work force nor following CDC guidelines. This I believe to be the true cause for their actions. I will miss my team and hope that at some point we, the people who work/ed in fulfillment will be heard and respected as humans and not cattle.
From: Lysa (May 04 2020, at 20:09)
It feels so good to do the thing you know is the right thing. Good for you for having the courage, conviction, principles and clarity to come to this place. Wishing you a next chapter that rewards this difficult decision.
From: Mentifex (May 04 2020, at 20:11)
Tim Bray is now my hero, like Senator Mitt Romney.
From: D J (May 04 2020, at 20:22)
Thank you for taking a stand on behalf of those who cannot.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (May 04 2020, at 20:22)
Since you are not looking to work right now..... I created www.LiveDailyFeed.com to compete with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Maybe you would like to not work on it and make a few billion doing nothing on it with me? I live in Medina if you happen to be nearby. I hear some of you geek types like it over here. Cheers.
From: J.N. (May 04 2020, at 20:24)
Thank you, this means a lot.
We have the choice to learn to protect each other.
From: Jenny Rockwell (May 04 2020, at 20:28)
Your action has heartened me. I will not be buying anything from Amazon anymore because of their exploitive practices and have encouraged my friends and family to boycott Amazon. I don't think you will regret your decision. You obviously have talent and integrity and will find another way to contribute and make a living. Thanks for setting a rare example.
From: Andrew (May 04 2020, at 20:30)
Kudos to you. Thank you for speaking the truth and setting the example.
From: Russell Maier (May 04 2020, at 20:32)
Well done. I am in Indonesia and not at all connected to Amazon, but nonetheless greatly respect what you have done. Great observation about the connection between the toxic phenomena you have witnessed and capitalism. Its almost as if by being part of the petroleum powered capitalist system, one can do no other than go down the socially and ecologically toxic road eventually. To the extent that a company in this day is not aware of negative dynamics of the petro-capitalist paradigm they are in, to that extent they are going to cause negative effects. Amazon seems to be fully immerse from the get-go in the capitalist paradigm. Good on you for getting out of it. Welcome to a whole new world! :-)
From: Julia (May 04 2020, at 20:33)
So sad to see the question about "Are men or women more likely to be pregnant?". Both men & women can get pregnant.
Regarding the Bye, Amazon post, the sole fact that you want to protect people who promote the Climate Change conspiracy theory is enough to show how unjustified your action was. I didn't even read the whole blog post.
Employees cannot create unrest in a company, while others work.
And numerous immunologist have insisted on the need for the human body to strengthen its immune system, by being regularly in contact with a variety of viruses & bacteria.
We are designed to fight those.
From: Bruce Duggan (May 04 2020, at 20:34)
Good on you.
From: Isaac M (May 04 2020, at 20:34)
Wow, quitting at a time like this takes guts. I applaud you for taking a stance. Large companies should provide basic masks and gloves for all employees, especially when working in close proximity to one another.
From: Dion Georges (May 04 2020, at 20:36)
From: Bill Posters (May 04 2020, at 20:37)
Dude, you were about to retire anyway, I hardly see the courage in your actions.
It seems to me like all you did was pack your things into a box a few days ahead of schedule.
You're 64 years old. Not 40. Quitting at 40 because of principles takes a LOT more courage than retiring a few days earlier than planned.
From: Randy (May 04 2020, at 20:42)
Listen, most of my fellow citizens do not side with Trump. In fact most hate him, which is why you had to put so much effort into the last campaign.
It was well played, and for that you are owed props. 2% of Americans are vulture-capitalist, and they are widely despised. I am truly sorry for the pain, anguish, and suffering the American regime may have caused to you and yours, but that certainly doesn't reflect who most of us are. Real human beings, that know little the extent at which those operations, reach.
Please, have compassion. I cannot speak for everyone, but I truly am sorry for that of which I had little, and that also done in neglegence. Divide and conquer . . . As humans we are all inherently greedy, which is why communism will never be utopian, but just too complacent with the indoctrination. The chemical composition of planet Earth's atmosphere
Should take precedent over everything, and most here believe that too!!
I cannot thank you enough for your time, and wish this communication had been on better terms. We are ashamed in our own disappointment. Alas, until next time . . . ✌️
From: DC (May 04 2020, at 20:43)
As a female minority working in tech, I want to say thank you for standing up for those who don't have a voice. Thank you for your courage and sacrifice - your leadership is the kind our world needs. God bless.
From: Louise Paradis (May 04 2020, at 20:50)
Hero. Thank you.
From: fred (May 04 2020, at 20:57)
The fact that you "Snapped" says way more about YOU than it does about Amazon. The fact you Escalated through the proper channels tells me that you can escalate anything you want and whether there is merit depends on whether your "concern" gets attention. The fact that you felt compelled to blog about this experience tells me your a social justice warrior activist that isn't cut from the cloth to fit in and make changes in the corporat world.
From: Randy Colbert (May 04 2020, at 20:58)
I will hire you ... http://genesis-eye-n-infinity.xyz
From: Duncan Hart (May 04 2020, at 21:08)
If you don't stand up or something then you'll fall for anything. I applaud you.
From: Scott (May 04 2020, at 21:17)
@Chris - if you look at the org structure for Amazon, a VP is middle management (high middle, I would say.) Could a VP make a difference? Sure - one can lead from any position, blah blah etc. But then, so too could a resignation to draw attention to the problem. And if deciding to stay and "fight" from within, it seems somewhat likely a VP could beat their head against the wall until punch drunk and nothing much change....
From: Anonymous (May 04 2020, at 21:18)
This is one of the best things I have read. Not many months have passed by, but I can feel every bit of your observation. I am glad that you took an opportunity to bring this insight to the outside world.
From: Hasan (May 04 2020, at 21:19)
Thank you for the courage to tell the truth. I admire people like you more than anyone.
From: Portwood (May 04 2020, at 21:26)
I respect your decision! The word needs more people like you in the world!
From: Marte Brack (May 04 2020, at 21:27)
Chapeau, for standing up against modern slavery! In the Netherlands, we hate it that Amazon comes this way, we don't need another destroying values company. AirB&B, Uber, Amazon, etc, all nice at the start, later a many-headed-ego monster!
Brutal 'white innocence' in modern times, a kind of slavery shows, we didn't learn from our past, no we re-define and refine it all. When will it be I+You=society? It's the + what makes it work, nothing else! We have to care for that! All the good for now and thanks for your Self-driven leadership!
From: Anonymous (May 04 2020, at 21:39)
I am incredibly moved by your brave and selfless action. What you did took significant valor and moral courage.
AWS may have been a great team to work on, but the AWS cloud computing service is used by the CIA. Yes, the intelligence agency responsible for the extrajudicial killing and torture of black and brown people around the globe. In addition, AWS technology is used by the fossil fuel industry to help oil and gas companies rapidly find drillable oil locations.
Regardless of what you did before, your act of rebellion sets an example for the rest of us on the hamster wheel. It is time we all question our silence, complicity and hierarchy of values.
From: Annita has (May 04 2020, at 21:41)
Brave and principled! Stay that way.
From: Alan (May 04 2020, at 21:45)
Thank you for speaking out. The world needs more people of courage, more people who are willing to stand against injustice and fight for what is right. You're a leader and a hero. Hopefully your actions will help to incite true change in the despicably inhumane culture at Amazon.
From: Rod (May 04 2020, at 21:54)
Just wanted to praise / thank you for for standing up for what is right, against Amazon's shady practices. Amazon is a cancer we must eradicate.
From: Hannelie (May 04 2020, at 22:00)
I would do anything to work for someone like you!
From: Gina Kelly (May 04 2020, at 22:00)
Hi Tim, I think you are a hero for resigning and speaking out against what is wrong. I'm sure a guy like you with your intelligence and integrity will get you far, but also leaving you able to hold your head up high for doing the right thing. Good luck to you and all those who were wronged. I hope things change because of the actions you have taken! Cheers!
From: Anonymous (May 04 2020, at 22:05)
Speaking of Snap..talk to Jeremi and come over here! We are always looking for great people with solid moral compasses.
From: ૐ Aum (May 04 2020, at 22:07)
✨ 💎 ✨ Sri Timothy Bray ✨ 💎 ✨
From: Nicole Shepard (May 04 2020, at 22:17)
The world needs more people like you.
From: Evan (May 04 2020, at 22:31)
It is sad because Amazon has such potential to be an amazing power for good in the world.
From: Yigoboy (May 04 2020, at 22:38)
You will be missed, Tim. It's a huge loss having you depart. Thanks for the event driven architecture talks. You have truly inspired me and many others to Invent.
From: Shane (May 04 2020, at 22:53)
Well done, sir. I am smiling from ear to ear because your actions prove there is good in the world -- and you're just all kinds of awesome. Keep it up and hope to see you soon!
From: superlimoncello (May 04 2020, at 22:55)
Please do everything in your power to protect and to get justice for workers, previously under your supervision, who are affected by that which you opposed and by this public statement.
You have the opportunity to make things better for a lot of people. Let’s see it happen.
From: Elisa Torres (May 04 2020, at 23:05)
Wow! Thank you for taking a stand for workers' rights. This is commendable and I applaud your courage and bravery.
From: Mitch Lindgren (May 04 2020, at 23:09)
Well said. Thank you for taking a principled stand for your beliefs.
From: Jill Nagle (May 04 2020, at 23:14)
Hi Tim. I think I exhaled more deeply reading this post than I have in months. I feel such a sense of relief, and expansion in my breath, my vision, and my sense of hope, because I have not seen another example of someone at your level publicly drawing the line at colluding with human endangerment-for-profit. If I prayed, I would pray fervently that your example inspires others to follow suit.
From: Jeremy (May 04 2020, at 23:15)
Kia ora Tim,
Bravo for your stand - I often wonder if I'd have the strength of conviction to make a moral stand such as this (and sadly, think probably not - all power to you).
From: arshish kapadia (May 04 2020, at 23:22)
Thank you for your principled and noble action. In a world where few have your courage it was an inspiration for me to hear your story and read your reasoning.
From: Anonymous (May 04 2020, at 23:26)
I am incredibly moved by your brave and selfless action. What you did took significant valor and moral courage.
AWS may have been a great team to work on, but the AWS cloud computing service is used by the CIA. Yes, the intelligence agency responsible for the extrajudicial killing and torture of black and brown people around the globe. In addition, AWS technology is used by the fossil fuel industry to help oil and gas companies rapidly find drillable oil locations.
Regardless of what you did before, your act of rebellion sets an example for the rest of us on the hamster wheel. It is time we all question our silence, complicity and hierarchy of values.
From: Markus (May 04 2020, at 23:32)
What can I say: My deepest respect!
From: Tony (May 04 2020, at 23:36)
All this Information is rich and much appreciated. The struggle for power in a capitalist economy is real. Would it be unprofessional or inappropriate of you to include your avenues of approach for fighting these hilariously bad decisions? Hopefully your resignation brings more light on the ugly underbelly that is Amazons' inhumane decisions to fire employees who make too much noise.
From: Mike Wong (May 04 2020, at 23:36)
Thanks for your position on this important issue of how we treat workers with little power to push for better working conditions.
Actions speak more than words.
We are all judged on what we do.
Thank you again for your sacrifice.
From: PitBullCH (May 04 2020, at 23:48)
Tim - really good to see there’s still people out there willing to put ethics before money.
Well done, hope and suspect you will be employed fairly soon by a more socially responsible company.
@Amazon - reputation in tatters - your move.
From: Desmond (May 05 2020, at 00:02)
Well done Tim (and thank you), you are making the world a much better place.
From: Chauyan (May 05 2020, at 00:19)
Even though I am just a nobody, but I really appreciate your effort on this thing and admire this action.
God bless you and good luck for the future.
From: Samuel Walt (May 05 2020, at 00:48)
You are right about the toxicity of Dave’s org. It has become a fire drill, drive by fear and cover you ass org in past 8 years. Pick his fav VPs. All yes mans who are firing anyone who tries to state reality. The kid VP has made a joke of delivery contractors by creating fraudulent payment systems hiding all extra payments under the rug to keep dddy happy and contractors quiet. The fuel card the contractors use is to fill personal vehicles and rakes in millions of losses. Poor drivers shit and pee in vans. The new Old guy Chahun was fired from Amazon for being rude to female employws and shouting swear words in large reviews setting, has made his way back and not changed a bit. All directors vp promos are based on how many u suck up to vs deliver real LPs. Entire org needs restructure and firing to create real Amazon environment again.
From: Aaron (May 05 2020, at 00:54)
Kudos to you
From: Miguel Mendez (May 05 2020, at 01:35)
Massive respect, Tim.
From: Tom Ritchford (May 05 2020, at 01:39)
It's very rare that people are willing show integrity at the cost of their wallets. Well done!
From: email@example.com (May 05 2020, at 01:55)
I agree with those who say the world needs more people like you, many, many more. It's very encouraging, too, that you point out how differently the well-paid and the poorly paid are treated. As a culture, we do not respect people as people, and we do not respect the earth. If we did both, nearly everything would have to be reorganized. Things would surely get better, much better. I'm ready, and I hope a critical mass of us are, too.
From: sue (May 05 2020, at 02:27)
Many thanks for doing what is RIGHT, not many people do and what you have shown is courage which demands RESPECT.
From: Bill (May 05 2020, at 02:39)
Epic Have faith in the future!
If you need a job I know of a 24 year digital marketing company that needs you.
From: Pat Gra (May 05 2020, at 02:54)
Tim, I read your blog with great interest and not surprised by the Amazon culture you are describing and in particular for employees in the warehouses.
Admire your integrity and stand in walking away from Amazon.
We have a Warehouse close to where I live and journalists have been undercover to highlight some of the unfavourable working conditions.
Have never shopped as a customer on Amazon.
Well done to the French for standing up to this Global brands that for me reflects greed, manipulation of small businesses and void of respect for all of its workers
From: Janette (May 05 2020, at 03:34)
Thank you, Tim. I appreciate your perspective and demonstrating how you chose to live your truth.
From: Ron Hills (May 05 2020, at 03:38)
Thank you for having the fortitude to stand up for the right things.
From: rr (May 05 2020, at 03:39)
Thanks for speaking out and making the sacrifice. The biggest problem with the world today are the professional elites who are enabling a morally bankrupt system with their silent conformity and compliance. I wish you good luck and am sure that you will find something equally satisfying to do. The world needs more people like you.
From: Sebastian (May 05 2020, at 03:39)
You definitely did the right thing. Most professionals would choose money over ethics but you didn't and that's huge.
Not sure if things will change at Amazon with your leaving. But I was about to accept an offer with them and thanks to the awareness your created, they just lost a candidate. And a customer, I might add.
From: Raymon (May 05 2020, at 03:39)
Tim, thank you for being with the people. I’ve walked away from opportunities several times when a business didn’t align with my morals. I’m so proud of you for doing that with so much money on the line. Of course, like others have said, money is no issue for you. So many companies will want you after this!
From: Crystal ORourke (May 05 2020, at 03:41)
Sir. I have so much respect for you. Do these families have go fund mes or anything we can share? I have a small videocast and would be happy to use my platform to help get these families assistance. Please feel free to reach out to me. theindiehuntress at Gmail.
Thanks for doing what's right, even though it's hard.
From: Algo Rithm (May 05 2020, at 03:52)
Instead of snapping and resigning, why not help to change the organization?
"I’m sure it’s a coincidence that every one of them is a person of color, a woman, or both. Right?"
Again, if you believe that racism and misogyny exist in the organization, why not try to change things? Since you have a platform and prominence you would be well suited to help.
"At the end of the day, it’s all about power balances."
I agree, but you cannot rely on corrupt government bureaucrats and politicians to fix this. They have their own interests and historically suck at problem-solving.
"So they’re gonna get treated like crap, because capitalism."
This statement is probably a short-sighted attempt to provoke or blow off some steam.
I suggest less virtue signalling and more useful action.
From: Valda (May 05 2020, at 03:58)
Saw small article on your stand in Australia and delighted to hear of your actions. Heartening indeed. We need more Tim’s,
From: Mauricio (May 05 2020, at 04:04)
Thank you for speaking out your truth, might not be evident now but it will mean something and you will look back and be proud of that decision one day
From: Turab (May 05 2020, at 04:25)
Hey Tim, so I'm not a great enthusiast of what Amazon is all about but like you said it's about capitalism. And you definitely rekindled my hope in good people doing the right thing and not being only about the money. I wish you could come up with something that would be somewhat of a speed bump to them taking advantage of the system? You talk a good game and considering you working in a field that's highly paid (not just as a VP) but the tech division or AWS maybe come up with something that'll help to even out the field for the people(manpower) without whom all this tech/web processes are basically worthless because without workers at the fulfillment centers what's going to get shipped? And without that next day or 3day delivery promise what's so great about it anyway.... the faster it rises the harder it falls... nothing lasts forever except true/sincere grit. Atleast that's what I think. Maybe you should start a service for the people by the people.... in any case kudos to you for doing what's right and standing for values&morals. Bless you and your family.
From: CarlP (May 05 2020, at 04:27)
Well done Tim! A true hero standing up for your values and morals, doing what you say, doing what’s right, and hopefully creating a better discussion out of this. Wishing all employees everywhere were in a position to do this. Best of luck to you.
From: Anne williams (May 05 2020, at 04:33)
As a woman who worked in corporate America for more than 40 years, you are my hero. Everything you say has been my experience. Thank you for seeing the people who are being victimized.
From: Lesli Diamond (May 05 2020, at 04:38)
Leader. Not a follower. Your mom/dad/caregiver raised you well. Gulp! To say bye to that compensation, of course has to be difficult.
Isn’t there a saying out there that says “Without great sacrifice there cannot be great gain?”
Thank you for standing up for what’s decent and right ( human lives). Shame on Amazon. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org as I’d love to hear what’s next for you.
From: Kate Murphy (May 05 2020, at 04:44)
Thank you for your actions and then sharing the story. I have to believe you will be a change maker.
From: Donna (May 05 2020, at 04:47)
Loud thundering applause. This is integrity, guts and grit at its finest. May others follow your lead.
From: Joan T Wynne (May 05 2020, at 04:47)
Tim Bray, you are a hero! Thank you for your bravery. May all of us be inspired to take courageous steps toward justice.
From: Bjarte M. Østvold (May 05 2020, at 04:50)
Thanks for your words and your action. And thanks for a reminder that ethics matter also for computer scientists.
From: Peggy (May 05 2020, at 04:51)
Thank you for standing up for your fellow humans. So rare now days. You are a fine spirit.
From: Lauren Weimann (May 05 2020, at 04:58)
Thank you. Personally, this time in our country is a time of awe at the commitment and sacrifice of our first responders, and a terrible sadness at the horrible words and behavior of the willfully ignorant. I needed to read this, our country needs this kind of action.
And not for nothing, I care just as much for the welfare of the most strident protestors as I do for everyone else. But I feel weary, and I am afraid for my countrymen and women.
From: lil free (May 05 2020, at 05:07)
Thank you for this kernel of actual tear jerking good news in this shitstorm. It is a beautiful reminder that we are somehow evolving, and maybe in many many decades may be free of the consumer yoke we carry.
We don’t know each other. You made my day, and I wish you only the best in this world, small moves, large moves, all the inching forward we humans can do, changes the playing field and gives each other courage.
From: Shue (May 05 2020, at 05:10)
Bravo Tim!! Thank you for shedding a light on Amazon's extreme hypocrisy and greed, before and during this pandemic. I was an early adopter of Amazon in the late 90s, but quit it last year. Decided that I'm not ok giving $ to a monopoly, and this is precisely why. Thank you for speaking up for the women and people of color that were ousted to prop up the rotten apple of capitalism...you left Amazon with your soul intact.
From: Inman (May 05 2020, at 05:12)
Well done. It's very challenging to lead by example and quit in such a circumstance. I've tried to fight such battles and unfortunately found that I was a lone soldier almost every times.
In your off time, perhaps you may be successful in reaching out to your legislature contacts to try and get the ball rolling on some improvements. I'm trying exactly that in an unrelated matter of another state where insurance profits are at the expense of IMHO a poorly managed insurance regulation.
From: Dave Epstein (May 05 2020, at 05:16)
It is very hard to take off the golden corporate handcuffs to speak truth to power. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy but you can stand up and look in the mirror and be proud of the person you are. Total respect! Thank you.
From: Rose ODonnell (May 05 2020, at 05:19)
It is good to see a person of principle at a high level in this country. How can I tell Amazon that I will boycott online sales until they fix this?
From: Robert T. Chisholm (May 05 2020, at 05:22)
Amazon should immediately apologise publicly to the workers who were fired, reinstate them in their jobs, and compensate them for lost wages etc. up to the time when they are reinstated. It may be that the workers might have made their complaints differently but firing them with no chance of appeal or explanation was totally wrong, especially at a time like this when they will likely find it difficult or impossible to find alternative employment.
From: Valerie Fulford (May 05 2020, at 05:24)
You should be proud and sleep well.
From: Barbara Epstein Gruber (May 05 2020, at 05:25)
“ struggles to move the diversity needle (and mostly fails, but so does everyone else),”
Apparently not trying hard enough-not willing to do what it takes to actually move that needle. Yup, a few of the white guys-or just guys- maybe you!- are gonna have to give up all that good treatment-or REALLY work to get it for everyone.
I’m so tired of hearing there aren’t enough qualified women/minorities, etc,... to fill the positions. I teach those women and minorities and you’re just wrong. I see how hiring works; who cleans the floors - and who teaches graduate classes. Maybe we start by paying the floor cleaners the same as the grad instructors (not adjuncts-they’re not getting a much better deal-and while we’re on that subject....)
Maybe we start at the beginning-we live together. We start at food deserts and redlining and reparations. Maybe we have a UBI that allows people to breathe-not just subsist.
Maybe we nominate someone who embodies all these things and stop demonizing politicians who are working to make things right.
I’m sorry. I appreciate that you’ve come forward, and get to retreat to a safe haven. Now take that privilege and DO something.
From: Michael Lissack (May 05 2020, at 05:26)
Read Exit Voice and Loyalty by Albert Hirschman it will give you a fulller context of what you have been through
25 years ago I walked away from a $1mm per year job over ethics
It is takes an adjustment but ... well done
From: Emilie Ratterman (May 05 2020, at 05:28)
Were the whistle blowers in the US? Where I worked we were told it is illegal to fire a whistle blower.I don't know about other countries.
From: Serena Skiffington (May 05 2020, at 05:36)
Bravo! We need more ethical people like you in executive positions.
From: Rafael M. Motta (May 05 2020, at 05:36)
You are a good person.
From: Lorelle (May 05 2020, at 05:37)
Thank you for standing up for those who were wronged, and for bravely sharing the ugly side of 21st century capitalism.
While so many were at home with loved ones, the warehouse employees left their families daily to provide for the rest of the country. Beyond enhanced cleaning protocols shared on Amazon's website, it sounds as if little was done to care for these workers who bravely showed up day after day, knowing that they and their loved ones could potentially be impacted by COVID-19. In the government/military, there is hardship pay for when you are asked to go above and beyond by living/working in a high-risk area, Amazon should do the same for their foundation, their warehouse employees instead of firing those trying to share the concerns.
I wish more corporate leaders would take a stand and recognize that without a strong foundation, their businesses would fail.
From: Chris Eng (May 05 2020, at 05:40)
You are leading the way for a better, more humane and justice-centered future for all of us. Thank you.
From: sue gregor (May 05 2020, at 05:40)
The world needs more people like you. Standing up for what is right is not always an easy thing to do. And for a VP level to do it knowing the possible cost? Wow rather admirable. Good for you. Good karma shall come to you. Thank you for speaking up for humans who don’t feel they have that power.
From: Brianne (May 05 2020, at 05:47)
Good for you, stand up for what’s right, even at a great personal cost. I applaud you.
From: Lois Letchford (May 05 2020, at 05:48)
Thank you for your bravery. The world needs people like you.
From: Guy Swentek (May 05 2020, at 05:54)
Thank you for caring and sharing because you're a hero to those workers who've wondered if any "corporate" people in power have any conscience or soul at all.
From: Bruce Tate (May 05 2020, at 05:55)
I, for one, greatly appreciate this action, Tim.
We only met briefly, in Matsue for the ruby conference there. I respect this decision tremendously. I especially respect that you used your position of power to support people without.
Bruce Tate (grox.io)
From: Jessica Escalante (May 05 2020, at 06:05)
Thanks for supporting union's collective bargaining power.
From: Jessica (May 05 2020, at 06:09)
Amazon is a truly abhorrent organization and my hope is that this pandemic opens more eyes to that fact. YOU CAN BUY THINGS OTHER PLACES, PEOPLE.
From: Frank Gilbane (May 05 2020, at 06:11)
Good on you Tim.
From: Former Amazon customer (May 05 2020, at 06:13)
Amazing—I hope more execs will take a stand like you did, but I fear we won’t see that. So how about a boycott??
I no longer order from Amazon and I recently stopped shopping at Whole Foods as their employees are unhappy with safety standards as well.
Hopefully one good thing that will come from this pandemic is that people will be able to wait longer for items to be delivered or they will more often support their local businesses even if it costs a little more. Thank you for your sacrifice.
From: margaret Abrusley (May 05 2020, at 06:17)
Thank you, Tim Bray, for your courage and standing by your principles.
From: Celeste Holz (May 05 2020, at 06:17)
Thank you so much for your integrity. I am in a program that trains individuals with disabilities to work as software engineers, but the recent firings of whistle blowers at Amazon and Google have made it clear to me that I could never in good conscience work for the private sector. While anti-trust laws and worker rights legislation will help, consumers also need to realize that what’s convenient isn’t always right.
The tech world needs more people like you!!!!
From: A. Person (May 05 2020, at 06:19)
Sounds like you need to learn how the world really works instead of pretending your inclusive, climate fear induced union-esq world view is shared by the “haves”
I’m sure Amazon isn’t hurting in the least by your departure. Excellent time to quit BTW.
From: Michelle Tyler (May 05 2020, at 06:21)
It's uplifting to see this moral stance taken by someone high up in the Amazon food chain. I wish more people had your ethics, Amazon, namely Jeff Bezos really is a vile behemoth of an industry. I for one would love nothing more than to see it disappear. Perhaps Earth would have more chance of healing if Amazon wasn't shoving crap down peoples throats 24/7.
From: Tom Oris (May 05 2020, at 06:25)
Dear Mr. Bray;
A simple note to express my admiration. You’ve displayed true leadership, in both working within the process to have your concerns addressed and via your resignation. Sadly and hopefully, your resignation and public comments may push Amazon to change their positions which would benefit the many workers at Amazon. True leadership, something rare in business today. God bless.
From: Rick Rydberg (May 05 2020, at 06:27)
I will try and use more brick and mortar stores because of your firing.
I am glad I clicked on your link.
From: Cees (May 05 2020, at 06:29)
France is doing it. And Switzerland. And Germany. Denmark. The Netherlands. Norway. Belgium. Italy. Australia. Canada. Finland. Humane capitalism rather than the modern slavery the American people have chosen, so far.
From: Hannah (May 05 2020, at 06:38)
Man you made the front page, I keep seeing this over and over. Don't listen to the people who say it won't make a difference. Nobody ever quits that high up for ethical reasons, even if they want to, because people think the professional thing to do is shut up and mind your business. You're gonna be an example that it's fine to question things and think for yourself, for other people in similar positions.
I'm sure seeing "Amazon VP Quits" has already turned a few hundred people away from the retail site
Please consider heading up some sort of social action committee or releasing some statements on what we can specifically do to help--legal, political, I don't know. Tons of people are terrified of Amazon's practices but don't understand how to fight back effectively, or if it's even possible. Simply "not shopping/supporting" online isn't effective, especially with supporting AWS being unavoidable. But it really feels like David and Goliath here, where Goliath has a machine gun and on crack, and David is a blind deaf double amputee. Help. We don't want Mars turned into an Amazon packing plant 🙃
From: Jean Kester (May 05 2020, at 06:39)
Thank-you for taking a stand.
My son who has Aspergers Syndrome worked at Amazon warehouses in Phoenix and was well liked by most co-workers, supervisors and managers.
After being singled out, embarrassed in front of co-workers he worked closely with management to implement an Autism awareness campaign at the warehouse he was at.
He was also a new member mentor, on the social committee and on the team that listened to persons grievances.
One night, a new floor manager got in his face and began screaming at him. Feeling threatened, he walked away to avoid contact and went to HR to report this and my son was terminated.
To this day he has no reason why. To this day co-workers tell him his Autism awareness campaign always has them remembering him and knowing Amazon did NOT do this, he did.
He wrote a long letter to Mr. Bezos and asked to meet with him regarding treatment of people with Autism and to ask why he was terminated. All he received was a legal letter and an attachment that stated if he opened the letter he basically was accepting the contents sight unseen and could not sue Amazon.
He did not open it. He went to an attorney that handled workplace harassment cases and ADA cases and they told him he gad a good case.
Several months later they advised him Amazon pockets were to deep to fight and dropped his case.
Thank-you for having a moral compass.
From: Kempton (May 05 2020, at 06:39)
Thanks a lot Tim up for the whistleblowers & rightful frightened warehouse workers due to deadly Covid19! I've already looked up my most recent April Amazon order will soon call in to complain and talk about why the issues you raised are so wrong! Shameful things that Amazon are doing to whistleblowers and rightful frightened warehouse workers! They are human beings like you and me deserved to be safe and stay alive during Covid19! In fact, shame on Mr. Jeff Bezos the boss man himself!
P.S. Thanks also for giving up that cool US$1m (pre-tax) to speak up and do the right thing! World needs more people like you to stand up to people like Mr. Bezos. In fact, we, the little people, can do our small parts to effect changes, by calling Amazon to complain of an old or during a new order! I'm pretty sure all these calls are carefully monitored.
If we don't do our small parts to help our frontline Amazon whistleblowers and rightful frightened warehouse workers, then may be we don't really deserve them saving us. Thats my 2 cents.
From: Noan MOUSY (May 05 2020, at 06:43)
Thank you from a random client.
I have a very bad perception of Amazon but at least you'r the proof that everyone wasn't evil in this company.
Wish you the best !
From: Marianne Dufour (May 05 2020, at 06:46)
All my gratitude and respect for your integrity and action. I figure that your move throws you off balance on the one hand, but it mostly rebalances you and sets you up for much better. I wish you and everyone you did this for all the best. I do hope that it keeps on shaking up Amazon so that things improve.
From: Peter (May 05 2020, at 06:49)
As you said: "Only that’s not just Amazon, it’s how 21st-century capitalism is done."
I think there may be a problem with business school curricula in terms of the measure of success they teach and the ethics they teach. Is the only measure of success is short-term stock gains, even if the business has to dissolve long term? Are there any ethical principals about benefiting employees, society as a whole, the economy? Is the 21st century pattern to build a company for the purpose of destroying it? Some enterprising journalist ought to look into it.
From: Virgil Bierschwale (May 05 2020, at 06:50)
Capitalism without regulation is the most destructive force in our World.
A tip of the hat to you for doing this.
From: randall robinson (May 05 2020, at 06:53)
I only wish there were thousands more of Americans like you!
Thank you for your honesty and integrity, and for putting your fellow man ahead of the dollar.
Hopefully others will follow your lead.
Again thank you for the sacrifice you and your family have made
From: Justin (May 05 2020, at 06:55)
Would you please give the world one more contribution? Please take your values to Washington and run for public office. Thank you.
From: Mary (May 05 2020, at 06:58)
Thank you for the depth of your article. You have convinced me that I need to give up "free" shipping. I'm overwhelmed by corporations that I'm supposed to boycott and products that cause harm to the planet, animals, or people. But enough is enough with Amazon. Cleverness used solely for greed is too dangerous to support. I'm out.
From: Jim Yuan (May 05 2020, at 06:59)
I applaud your values and principle, it’s extremely rare for someone in management (haves) to sacrifice their high paying position for injustice to employees (have not) at a different division, to make a statement, show support and take a stand.
I personally encourage you to continue this path and RE-engage with Amazon to help ratify this situation. You have the passion to do the right things for people. If Jeff Bezos is a true leader for the people, he would put you in a position to help accelerate this change in his organization!
From: Kelley Estep (May 05 2020, at 07:00)
I applaud you. You have courage and morals at a time when many don’t or are more concerned with greed, ego, and their position. Your parents would be proud of you. You are one of my new hero's.
From: David Henkel (May 05 2020, at 07:00)
Thank you Tim for standing up to “Be the Change” you want to see in the world. We all know we can’t wait around for it to get legislated in. I applaud your bravery! I vow to NEVER buy another Amazon product and will try to convince others to do the same. Together we can bring back small business.
From: David M. Bernier (May 05 2020, at 07:10)
Good morning. My father, a career naval officer, reminded my brother and I more than once early on that doing the right thing would often be the hardest choice a person has to make. He never went any further, his point clear.
I just read of your decision to leave Amazon. Your personal integrity is-I can't find the words to describe the moral and ethical perfection of your decision and the subsequent reasoning behind it.
Your parents are very proud of you today.
From: Massimo (lurking from italy/germany since ever) (May 05 2020, at 07:14)
From: Melissa (May 05 2020, at 07:19)
Just the other day I sent a flyer to a friend working in a data center regarding free COVID-19 testing for essential workers to pass along to folks at the center, sort of like a public service announcement for employees, who can choose to get tested. She told me that she could not do it becuase of legal informed her for an employer to post anything in a work environment — then it becomes “endorsed” or affiliated with work and liability is on the lips of many companies as it relates to COVID during this pandemic. The offical stance is for employees to seek information on their own. It is unfortuante that good intentions cannot fully be exercised, for the fear of legal risk.
From: Eileen (May 05 2020, at 07:19)
Thank you for your sacrifice, Tim Bray. You are a wonderful human being.
From: Thulasi Krishnan (May 05 2020, at 07:21)
Mad respect for standing up for what you believe in and letting go of what most people won't. And most of all for the humane intentions behind those beliefs. It is rare enough to find gentlemen who have the spine to walk the talk.
From: Christine Funt (May 05 2020, at 07:24)
Thank you, Tim, for standing up for your beliefs. Best of luck to you in the future. I know you will continue to do great work.
From: Austin Lee (May 05 2020, at 07:27)
From: michael wineberg (May 05 2020, at 07:30)
Excellent honest, ethical behaviour and very good article from the author. Yes, the problems are inherent in capitalism, which is fueled by and fuels consumerism . I am guilty. And I am an excellent and highly appreciative Amazon Prime customer. Bet where is the compassion and understanding of Jeff Bezos and his company in the way warehouse workers are treated and in the morally reprehensible firings of those who speak trying to change things for the better. Great customer service but but bad corporate policy and worker management.
From: Shari Edelstein (May 05 2020, at 07:38)
Thank you for being a true leader. I hope that your actions, along with others, sheds like on Amazon's actions and they find the decency to do the right thing.
From: Pat Fitzpatrick (May 05 2020, at 07:41)
Thank you for your sacrifice in the name of human rights and dignity. Please seriously consider running for elected office. We need to break the cycle of crony capitalism and weaken the bond between corporations and our democratic institutions.
From: KK (May 05 2020, at 07:46)
Thank you Tim!! For standing up for what you know is right and for sharing your experience. As a junior member of a senior business team, this is the kind of leader I aspire to be today and as I earn more clout. And I thank you deeply for setting this example. The world isn't going to change unless we bravely stand up to the task of driving that change. And that's what you, Bashir Mohamed, Chris Smalls, and the others you mentioned are doing. THANK YOU and keep it up!
From: Victoria Morgan (May 05 2020, at 07:47)
Thank you for your thoughtful words and brave stance. I worked for Amazon as an area manager in one of their fulfillment centers and I too left the company because I wouldn't stand for the way that the employees, including myself, didn't have much of a voice.
It is so incredibly important for individuals like yourself, those with power and the ability to reach the masses, to take action and speak up.
I have been blogging during COVID-19 regarding how employers in general are treating their employees, both good and bad, and I will be adding a post surrounding you and this action.
Again, thank you. Good luck in your next steps!
From: G. Miki Hayden (May 05 2020, at 07:49)
Thank you, Tim. I buy a lot from Amazon, of course. I'd like to think they are treating humans and the earth respectfully. I'm sure your future will be bright.
From: BRYAN WEDMORE (May 05 2020, at 07:52)
Thank you sir, coming from working class people, I have seen the decline of unionization and living wages and benefits decrease drastically from the time NAFTA was passed. We were sold out and it was their intention to crush unionization of workers and the living wages they demanded. Fast forward to your blog.It reaffirms everything I have seen over the past 20 to 30 years. I was blessed with the ability to work and learn so I am not part of the working class who have to bend to the demands of a master employer. Not everyone has this ability or opportunity. Thank you for making a stand in what has to be talked about if this country ever wants to see a middle class population. I have watched my home town die from factory closing. This brings drugs,crime and poverty. The effect on the humans view of this being the land of the free and the place where you can be anything you want is gone. The ruling class does not care. The only thing I see making change is the american people coming together, standing up to the powers that be and forcing change.I know the powers that be will never let this happen. Being a vet I morn for my grand kids and the land they will have to live in. Again thank you for what you are doing.
From: John Silver, ND, FCCP (May 05 2020, at 07:52)
As a pulmonary and CCM physician, I commend you for taking the high rode. Your actions will help save lives by bring further attention to the inequities inside Amazon.
Thank you for caring, I think your awesome. Millions of people around the world will think your awesome because you will have kept an Amazon worker from dying in my or another icu somewhere in the world.
John Silver MD
From: Heather (May 05 2020, at 07:53)
Tim, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for your brave and difficult decision, and also for writing this. I'm sharing it with as many people as possible. And you WILL go on to bigger and better things!!!
From: Leslie Olson (May 05 2020, at 07:54)
Your continuing courage and integrity are reverberating in far reaching ways. The graduating seniors of UW Bothell will be inspired on May 29th to hear about your unflinching resolve in the face of personal sacrifice. Thank you. -- Leslie Olson, Chair, UW Bothell IAS Advisory Board
From: AmyH (May 05 2020, at 07:56)
Thanks for speaking out on this. Your comments on everything from the struggles of union organizing to rights depending on your level in the corporation to U.S. capitalism are spot on. I wish you the best of luck in the future. Thanks for being an integral part of the struggle.
From: Raymond Ensor (May 05 2020, at 07:56)
Citizens, young and old please take note. Thank you, Mr Bray, for showing our nation what integrity and leadership looks like.
From: Rick Grant (May 05 2020, at 07:57)
Your actions and your reasons have cheered me immensely and I salute you as a person of honour.
In this age when personal responsibility, disregard for others, meanness and hatred seem to run rampant through our culture it is heart warming to see that some still hold to a personal code of honour.
Very well done, and all the the best.
From: Mark Kujawa (May 05 2020, at 08:00)
I applaud your bold and thoughtful resignation. I’m a former executive of a US company, not related to tech, currently living in the Netherlands as an US ex-pat. My connection with your former employer was from a consumer and user of their service. I decided about a year ago to stop using their service after learning of the unconscionable treatment of employees.
From: Max (May 05 2020, at 08:02)
I will rethink my usage of amazon services.
From: Linda Noone (May 05 2020, at 08:04)
Thanks for taking a stand for the workers at Amazon warehouses across the country. You have a conscience and I admire your recognition of the deplorable divide in this country between the 'haves' and the 'have nots'. I just wish that Jeff Bezos had an ounce of empathy for his workers! How much money does he need?
From: Rachel (May 05 2020, at 08:06)
Thank you Tim for standing up for Amazon employees!
From: Tanya Glogowski (May 05 2020, at 08:09)
Thank you for sticking up for the individuals who are using their voices to better working conditions and for quitting to use your voice as well.
From: Sally Tucker (May 05 2020, at 08:12)
Everyone comments about having big balls. What would happen if everyone grew a set and quit at the same time?
From: Jennifer Murphy (May 05 2020, at 08:18)
HOORAY FOR THE GOOD GUYS!!!
From: Denis Boudreau (May 05 2020, at 08:18)
We don't know one another. We'll probably never meet. But damn, I salute you for what you did and for your work ethics. You sir, are a decent human being. I've no doubt that you'll reposition yourself quickly. Best of luck and you are my inspiration today.
From: Alexis Peterson (May 05 2020, at 08:19)
Thank you for your sacrifice! people in authority should be with the people, not in opposition to them:)
From: Yolanda (May 05 2020, at 08:21)
Thank you for taking a stand and doing the right thing. Unfortunately, you seem to be one of few.
From: Dean Pesci (May 05 2020, at 08:24)
I very much admire someone who actually will stand up for what they believe is right, regardless of the consequences. You in essence basically told Amazon that THEIR services were no longer needed, thereby empowering those who were fired and/or had to work under unacceptable conditions.
Personally, I have not bought anything from Amazon in years, let alone not being a Prime member.
I do however take advantage of S3 AWS free cloud hosting for a number of my websites. I'm glad to hear that its a little different story over there. And your point is spot on - skilled tech vs. warehouse labor is where all the difference lies...if what you do is hard to come by, you are good to go...if not, not so much....
From: Peniasi Qimaqima (May 05 2020, at 08:25)
Thank You Sir for enlightening us . You’re one of the Awesome guys. Capitalism is not for the masses.
From: Anderson Alfaro (May 05 2020, at 08:26)
I admire your integrity, money is useless in our pockets if we mistreat people that helps us to grow and more when are less fortunate people. I know that a new stage in your life will begin, hopefully God will open new doors for you and why not, someday have a delicious coffee with you.
Note: My email email@example.com in case you want get in touch with me to talk about technology projects.
From: Irene (May 05 2020, at 08:27)
Dear Tim, Thanks so much for your bravery and refreshing attitude. I haven’t met or read of a younger generation person having the audacity to live by a set of values where money is not the main focus. I so appreciate your guts and hope you can will be a part of creating change in our run amuck capitalistic country. Hope to hear more from you. (BTW..I am a baby boomer)
From: ellen craig (May 05 2020, at 08:33)
Find time to read "Good Economics for Hard Times" by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo, who won the Nobel Prize in Economics.
From: Dianne Lipkin (May 05 2020, at 08:35)
BRAVO. I applaud your actions.
From: Margaret Burdick (May 05 2020, at 08:39)
Hi! Consider checking out Donut Economics. It paves a new ethical way forward.
Best of success to you,
From: Jane Binner (May 05 2020, at 08:39)
Thank you for having a spine ... being a person of character.
I hope there comes accountability at some point.
I cannot stand these companies that put profit over people, that stifle voices, that treat of like replaceable grist.
From: Catherine (May 05 2020, at 08:44)
Thank you for your courage.
From: Mike C (May 05 2020, at 08:45)
Thank you for takinga brave stand based on personal morality and organizational ethics. Takes real "cojones" to walk away form millions of $$$.
You sir are an inspiration to all of us in leadership positions.
From: Dianne Cooper (May 05 2020, at 08:45)
Your stand for the ethical treatment of people is the act that every single person needs to take now if we are to make economies and nations that function for the greater good. The Covid-19 pandemic could be a chance for positive change in the treatment of workers, the taxing of the rich, the saving of the earth. What decision will each person make? And, what position will each person expect our government to take? Is the leutenant gov. of Texas right - that the economy is more important than human life? We each need to take a stand.
From: Richard Clowdus (May 05 2020, at 08:48)
Thanks so much for your principled response and for sharing your story.
From: Diarmuid McGuire (May 05 2020, at 08:52)
People like you are Amazon's best hope. Too bad Jeff and his enablers don't know that.
From: Chris (May 05 2020, at 08:56)
First off, bravo to you! Thank you for standing up and using your online space to make this more public.
While I agree that the legislation you mention should be passed, I disagree that the best path forward is through legislation.
Personally, I have avoided buying from Amazon in any way that I can, for all of the reasons you cited in this post. I am letting my $ speak for me. THAT is what capitalism is...If we all did this more often, the 'evils' of capitalism would not be as devastating.
We will always be a dog chasing its tail if we rely primarily on government (and unfortunately, politicians) to create legislation to safeguard us. We need to use our moral compasses to do this for ourselves. We need to collectively be better as a society. Don't take the path of lease resistance, or what is convenient...we need to do what is right. If companies like Amazon are not doing the right thing, let's let our $ speak for us and choose to do business somewhere else!
Most of our current 'leadership' (and I use that term VERY loosely, for lack of a better word) within our governments are spineless and too self-serving to deserve the offices they hold. So, we need to spark-up, engage in and carry-out social movements/initiatives more...and some of these young people with big/idealistic views need to run for office and steer the ship in the right direction.
From: Claudia R (May 05 2020, at 08:58)
Thank you Tim for staying true to your ethics. If all you ex-Amazoners start a new company that is inclusive, cares about the climate,and has equitable compensation, I will shop with you!
From: Karma (May 05 2020, at 08:58)
Tim Bay Nobel Prize <3 6CK amazon
From: James (May 05 2020, at 09:01)
Proud of you Tom! It takes courage & conviction to stand up to a corporate machine as powerful as Amazon. Best to you in whatever future you pursue. You deserve the best.
From: Martin Kraetke (May 05 2020, at 09:01)
Thank you for your courage and honesty!
From: Debra Douglas (May 05 2020, at 09:05)
I admire and respect your courage. The toughest thing working for a large company or bureaucracy (I recently left a well-paid government position) is when the higher ups purport to listen to the line-workers, when actually they fall prey to the lawyers worries about liability. Leaders are more creative than pretending to care and while taking action or inaction divorced from the human interests of people showing up to work everyday, accomplishing organizational goals. I hear you gave up a lot by choosing to stop working at Amazon, there will be something else for you, more important to do.
From: Guy L (May 05 2020, at 09:05)
You are a true Canadian. You saw something that was unacceptable for us and you reacted as all Canadians do when facing extreme american capitalist behavior: put our values first. Keep safe and enjoy your very temporary vacation.
From: Dave (May 05 2020, at 09:14)
Amazon Web Services should be spun off into a separate company (from Amazon the "store"). Not giving that a big chance of happening given the current environment, but it should happen.....
From: Raj (May 05 2020, at 09:14)
Your courage is to be commended!! Bless you and hope you land in an organization worthy of you!
From: Christine D. (May 05 2020, at 09:15)
This world NEEDS more people like you! The road you have taken may be less traveled, but it will be more rewarding in the end! Thank you for being an inspiration!
From: bill bennett (May 05 2020, at 09:16)
Character is Destiny.
From: Pradeep Jalan (May 05 2020, at 09:16)
Yours may seem to be a lonely fight, Tim, but real loneliness is the one within.
The world will catch up and be aligned with your views .. ...
In the meantime, fly free, and enjoy the many blessings that is the World around you.
PS: came to your blog via a New York Times link, and I am glad I did.
From: Jeremy Z (May 05 2020, at 09:21)
A+ It's heartening to see someone stand up for their beliefs, especially when there is a real cost to doing so.
From: Christopher (May 05 2020, at 09:23)
You are a true hero in this time of unrest and history will show you on record.
From: Susan G. (May 05 2020, at 09:25)
They say your "gut" is where your heart meets your head. It seems you went with your gut, which I applaud.
From: Monte Hawver (May 05 2020, at 09:26)
Sad to see the greed and lack of respect Amazon has for workers, both warehouse and execs. Also, they are faltering in their services as of late. In the past I have ordered from Amazon multiple times weekly. I have recently minimized my orders with them in favor of other etailers. My minor way of showing my disapproval.
From: Fabian Wilson (May 05 2020, at 09:27)
Thanks you for coming forward on this issue. I think most people don’t have the will or fortitude to move out in the clear and make such declarations on the Big-Capatilist system that the world embraces today.
Our society values the Dollar way above humans today more than ever in history. Those at the forefront in the chain of “workers” has the lowest value to executives, no matter what industry you look at. Be it the healthcare system, the financial system or any organized work structure.
Those at the bottom of the ranks are seen as disposable like take-out- trays at the cafeteria. They has no moral, or ethical values when compared to the $ dollar sign. (Sad) how one human can look over another Human... if those at the top are still humans?
Exploitation is always at the forefront of those who wields power. Just a fish in the ocean do- the big fish always eat the small fish!
Your courage stands- it put you in a special category of Men- those who are willing to see injustice and call it like it is...
Thanks for coming forward! You’re a GIANT !
From: Tom (May 05 2020, at 09:29)
Well, if you're wondering about steps forward: you're no longer contractually obligated to avoid trying to organize workers from the outside. Put some of your money where your mouth is, and help the warehousing side unionize.
From: Gyio, Gyio Gyio (May 05 2020, at 09:33)
No better feeling than being free. Fly high
From: Katherine Parton (May 05 2020, at 09:33)
I work in a warehouse making baby car seats I'm so worried I think it's too soon 1to 2 workers showed positive for covid 19 6weeks ago I wonder did the virus die on its own or do they need to go the place how do we know what is packed. Does not carry it on when someone opens a box already packed previous to lay off 6weeks ago
From: Bob (May 05 2020, at 09:33)
The system you are saying is toxic is the same on that made you wealthy enough to walk away from a very high paying job simply because something about it made you unhappy.
When you advocate that you should have been payed less throughout your career (more in line with Amazon warehouse workers) and then give away enough wealth correct that imbalance, it's sort of hard to take you seriously.
From: Fellow Canadian (May 05 2020, at 09:37)
So very proud of you, Tim Bray! You're the face of real Canadian leadership. Not only did you show support to the base level workers but also discontent to the top management of Amazon in the way they treat their employees. How your genuine concern about this injustice is shown unequivocally is the that you're ready to sacrifice your personal career which had been quite satisfactory in many ways, and accept the huge financial loss as a result. My hats off to you - fellow Canadian! You have made us all proud and I'm sure you've already earned a great respect from many people, especially those whistle-blowers you have supported unconditionally.
From: AMW (May 05 2020, at 09:42)
Thank you for your transparency. This should serve as a wake up call for those of us who have become a bit of Amazon addicts over time but especially during the pandemic. I'm all for hard work but draw the line at taking advantage of people.
From: webzone (May 05 2020, at 09:45)
Walk across the street under fear of a non-compete?
From: Brian F (May 05 2020, at 09:52)
This was the Right thing to do.
Although you KNEW the kind of capitalistic, profits over people culture that Amazon and Bezos participated in BEFORE you joined the company - we are proud of you.
We all know that Capitalism in general promotes Profits Over People, unfortunately this will not change any time soon. But Amazon has repeatedly gone too far, for too long and enjoyed tremendous "profits" from it.
This stance you took is a great reflection not only on the People (the customers) who continue to use Amazons services which empowers them to then turn around and punish its distributors and works; but this shines a spot light on all the C-Suite executives too who have to show a great consciousness and responsibility of what's taking place - and then act to change it or be held equally accountable for crimes against humanity.
The profits you have reaped from Amazon I encourage to then give back and distribute some of them to those in need.
From: Ben (May 05 2020, at 09:55)
You could have remained and lobbied, assisted and agitated. Or you could have left, virtue signaling, and off to find more pay elsewhere. This was a profitable move in the end for sure.
From: Jan (May 05 2020, at 10:04)
Your action is admirable!
From: Michelle Mina (May 05 2020, at 10:04)
Tim, I don’t know you, but I totally admire your integrity, and how you bravely followed your own North Star.
From: linda gore (May 05 2020, at 10:04)
Thank you! I am old ! And I appreciate hearing from a young successful person who longs for and hopes for big business to work from a perspective of valuing and respecting all levels of worker and not just valuing profit. Stay strong and true.
From: Felicia Smith (May 05 2020, at 10:08)
Tim, you have done a courageous thing and it’s greatly appreciated! I don’t have any connection to Amazon but have always admired it’s business savvy and how Jeff Bezos was able to create such an amazing organization that is changing the world and has become such a critical force during this pandemic. My career has been in Human Resources and legal and operational administration of various companies and non-profits so I firmly believe that a company can be innovative, a leader in its field, very successful and also treat all of its employees as it’s most important assets.
My youngest son worked at Amazon, temporarily in a warehouse in the Philadelphia area, for several weeks during the past holiday season. His description of how he was treated was very difficult for me to reconcile with the image that I had of Amazon. When he wasn’t hired permanently, I was almost relieved and thought what a shame that the company was running their operations at the expense of their workers. As profitable as Amazon is and with its growth potential, this is truly unconscionable and reminiscent of sweat shops from the 18th and early 19th century.
Thank you for taking the stand that you did and shining a light on this for the world to see. I wish you much success in the future and I know that you will never regret this. I only feel sorry for others, within Amazon, that surely feel the same way you do but are afraid to take the same stand
and jeopardize their jobs, especially in this economy. They will have to live with their conscience.
Hopefully, some good will come from this as the pandemic has highlighted who the real essential workers are in this world and the true value of our mostly invisible workers in the trenches.
From: R. Erika Schafer (May 05 2020, at 10:12)
Tim, thank you for having morals and principles! I work in HR at a higher education institution. I started my career in HR at Caterpillar and left because it conflicted with my environmental principles. I want to start a blog for the working people. It's insane how employers keep people down. Would love to speak about this!
From: Susan Raby-Dunne (May 05 2020, at 10:12)
Thank you for making a stand. I hope more people at your level will follow your example.
From: Shilo (May 05 2020, at 10:18)
Tim, you're a hero! It's uncommon to encounter someone willing to stand up, speak up, and take action in the name of justice. It's even more rare to see someone make a sacrifice for others, I deeply appreciate your commitment to your values and your courage to uphold them. THANK YOU for taking a stand and for sharing this inside information so that others can better understand the situation. You're a true role model and I hope that life rewards you richly.
From: Rachelle Linner (May 05 2020, at 10:20)
I read the NY Times article and wanted to learn more. So impressed by your witness and courage. I don't use Amazon for many reasons -- years ago I saw its deleterious effect on book publishing and independent book stores and I have never regretted my decision. Your principled stand means and costs more than a boycott by a low-level consumer. I am sure that whatever company you end up at will be fortunate to hire someone of your technical and moral brilliance.
From: PitBullCH (May 05 2020, at 10:25)
Tim - really good to see there’s still people out there willing to put ethics before money.
Well done, hope and suspect you will be employed fairly soon by a more socially responsible company.
@Amazon - reputation in tatters - your move.
From: Monica Nelson (May 05 2020, at 10:26)
Would be great if the people in the computer dept and other departments of the "upper echelon" walked out on behalf of the labor workforce. Maybe the best and the brightest would help the workers get real benefits, OT, PAID VACATION, DAYCARE, SICK DAYS w/o paying for them!!! Real breaks. Real time for the bathroom. Places to sit. Places to recreate!!! Medicare for All, and anything else they NEED and WANT - Hell Bezos can afford all of this, plus tax!
You people have the power to help the workforce who are used, abused, and discarded. Why are you all so afraid?
From: Jon (May 05 2020, at 10:28)
Thank you for modeling ethical capitalism and true moral leadership! I believe this is the future of consumer choice and I hope amazon changes this and allows you to return, with a promotion!
From: Julia Huron (May 05 2020, at 10:30)
Applause to Mr. Bray for standing up for the employees. It couldn’t have been an easy decision to give up his own livelihood, especially during this time. Very admirable.
If you start your own company, I will gladly buy from you!
For now though, I will drop my Amazon membership.
From: Jay David (May 05 2020, at 10:36)
BRAVO! You are an example to every executive and person in the US. You are to be congratulated non-stop.
I hope this will be the beginning of necessary change in the corporate governance at Amazon. The lack of accountability, and integrity at Amazon is despicable.
I sincerely hope you have enough Amazon Stock to retire and live happily ever after for you and your family.
And that your next corporate position appreciates the integrity and honor you have displayed.
From: David J Thomas (May 05 2020, at 10:39)
Mr. Bray: thank you for being straightforward and detailing the unconscionable aspects of a particular corporate behavior. Now,for the future:is it possible to produce real and effective means of worker protections, for the future, in which we are and will be in the continuing emergency? Not just the virus, but the original climate focus of the fired employees are musts going forward. Since you have much more intellectual and personal weight than many of us, I hope that you will present plans for going forward in the midst of the changed reality we all face. Thank you for courage and truth. All best wishes in your work, David Thomas, Rockville MD firstname.lastname@example.org
From: Anonymous (May 05 2020, at 10:40)
I truly truly salute your courage and thank you for speaking out even as a member of the privileged class of people at Amazon. I worked in one of the warehouses in Canada before also recently quitting and I definitely agree with all the things you have said in this essay. Canada isn't as bad as the US but it is still dreadful. Newcomers to Canada being exploited day by day. Such a sad sad shame. I'm si glad leaving also allowed me breathe better.
Love and light mahn. Hope you find yourself working next at a more ethical company.
From: Valerie Krull (May 05 2020, at 10:40)
Good Job Tim Bray!!!
It is going to take plenty of people at the top to turn the ship of 21st century capitalism into a humane vessel for work!
From: Wenzday (May 05 2020, at 10:43)
How are warehouse workers "weak and getting weaker"? And how would you propose empowering them?
From: Luiz (May 05 2020, at 10:45)
Congrats to speak up! We need more people with your determination! The people should have the power to decide not only the 1%! Let's hope more people will speak up... Today it is them...tomorrow it can be you if you if you don't act today. It is only a mater of time. This is 21st century capitalism as you wrote in your statement. Tick tack tick tack...
From: Nancy Gendimenico (May 05 2020, at 10:49)
Tim -I hope you and Stacy Mitchell have connected. She is chipping away a little at a time to expose the damage at Amazon.
From: Elizabeth Krall (May 05 2020, at 10:49)
I am deeply touched by you, Tim Bray. What a rarity for someone to take a stand on what is, in my opinion, a system of fear, debasement and lack of humanity. I am excited that someone who could have done nothing has the character and courage you have. I am so proud of you. I know it had to be a difficult decision to pull the whip out of the master’s hand. Bullying as a management technique shows lack of compassion and kindness, a fear of change and desperation to hang on to profits over people.
From: Jennifer (May 05 2020, at 10:51)
It may seem a long way off, but these are the first steps towards change. A company with so little (if any, at all) ethic is truly doomed to fail. It is just a matter of time.
Tim, and all of those who were unfairly fired, will not be left out of this story in the books/movies/etc. to come.
I, for one, will not leave them out when I tell my children one day about 'the great rise and fall of amazon'.
From: Christopher (May 05 2020, at 10:51)
Good work Tim. I admire anyone willing to get up and make a stand. I like to say and sing these words to a song I wrote called "Bit By The Blues" .. "it makes no difference which way you turn if your heads in the sand, turn the blues into a song about the promised land"
Your courage will lead to some better avenues toward the promised land for the people in and outside of Amazon.
All the best,
From: Lee (May 05 2020, at 10:52)
To anyone left at Amazon who doesn't like it's way of treating employees -other tech firms with bigger hearts welcome you.
To Jeff Bezos, find a way to make things so right that Tim Bray decides to come back. And welcome him back with open arms.
From: Lawrence Mitchell (May 05 2020, at 11:06)
Thanks Tim, what your doing matters greatly and I'm sorry that it is impacting you financially in a significant way. I appreciate how you wrote about this macro capitalism issue particularly in The United States. It is not written in stone that we can't be Capitalists who value humans of all levels within our economic structures. I think we must have a reckoning of this situation as we emerge from this pandemic. Ultimately, the consumer can decide who (businesses and business models)are "punished" and who are "rewarded"; based on how they treat the human beings in their organizations.
From: Allison Edwards (May 05 2020, at 11:08)
From: Jing Zhao (May 05 2020, at 11:08)
As a shareholder, I submitted a proposal to Amazon this year http://cpri.tripod.com/cpr2020/amazon_proposal_2020.pdf which was excluded from the annual meeting. I think I can use your story to submit another proposal next year.
From: Sam (May 05 2020, at 11:08)
Without detracting from the rest of your post:
>I’m sure it’s a coincidence that every one of them is a person of color, a woman, or both. Right?
The net effect of political activism has been to show men and white people that if they speak up in their own interest, they are likely to be tarred and feathered in the name of diversity.
The logical outcome is that women and people of color feel they can speak up more, while men and white people feel more disenfranchised even if they have no actual power in the organization.
Instead your view this as a dynamic where the cure is more of the poison, because the situation can always be interpreted according to who was predecided to be the victim.
If the people in question were white men, would you think they must be particularly affected too? Cos I think you would be making the exact same point based on the complete opposite situation.
From: Kathie (May 05 2020, at 11:10)
Thanks for standing up for the less powerful. In this time of unregulated and run amok capitalism, this is refreshingly encouraging. I have often thought of shopping elsewhere and supporting other businesses directly. Would I be willing to inconvenience myself? Would it make a difference? Perhaps not. Good on you for your actions and speaking up.
From: Sebastian (May 05 2020, at 11:15)
This is the kind of forthright and courageous action that is horribly lacking in the tech industry. As a former union leaders, I remember warning young techies two decades ago that they would rue the day the voted against unionizing and surrendered collective bargaining and union rights to the fantasy notion that "we are all are agents."
EVERY industry eventually becomes a giant sweat shop that crushes individuals who have devoted years to the job and are planning their futures based on that job. Unions are the greatest force for workplace and worker well-being ever developed. Tim deserves great applause for this public action.
From: Peter (May 05 2020, at 11:17)
Thanks. Now let's fix this. Unrestrained excessive wealth is not good for the planet nor most of it's inhabitants. Time to use that strength or your for a much greater good.
From: Not at liberty to say (May 05 2020, at 11:18)
That is such a brave and honest thing to do.
From: Larry Lee Holman (May 05 2020, at 11:30)
Wow, If everybody, and anybody spoke their mind, and put their Money where their mouth is, the Butterfly Effect would cool the winds of greed. Bravo, Tim! I'm with you-If you need any help with your mission, I am a Documentary Filmmaker, Musician and Educator...
All service to Humanity is Pro Bono...
From: Cassie (May 05 2020, at 11:40)
Thank you for doing what is right. I have deactivated my Amazon subscription before for many related reasons, and while I did re-activate because frankly I needed to (in as much as I can "need" an entity like Amazon), I have since cancelled. I truly believe Amazon does not value human life or its own workforce. I am relieved to hear that AWS is at least humane, but the reasons why are likely what you yourself outlined. Thank you, again, for doing what is right. I wish you the best of luck and I am confident that any organization would be lucky to have you.
From: George Smith (May 05 2020, at 11:41)
Other than the sadness he experiences for the worker’s plight at Amazon, his resignation as an upper management executive definitely qualifies as a courageous act. Maintaining moral values in today’s business environment falls second to maintaining profit margins. He chose to put up and not shut up. He has joined the ranks to defy the Amazon juggernaut.
From: Chad (May 05 2020, at 11:42)
Here are some more pressing issue that maybe you want to address since you are Social Justice Warrior.
1. The 2003 Iraq war
2. Income disparity caused by the Federal Reserve.
3. Global War on Terror (It's pretty much a farce)
4. The plight of Palestine.
You are not a hero, you are a rich white guy that stood up on a soap box and will get another job.
Your 15 minutes has expired.
From: Ian (May 05 2020, at 11:42)
As a Canadian, you make me very proud of your behaviour. As a human being, even more so. You deserve better, and will get it, to be sure. Thank you from a proud unionized 155 Teamster.
From: Dipali (May 05 2020, at 11:47)
Thank you for sharing. I cancelled my Amazon Prime account last night and applaud you.
From: Anthony Schwartz (May 05 2020, at 11:48)
Thanks for doing the right thing. You took the path less travelled by at significant financial loss to yourself to stand by your values, that is commendable.
From: Doly (May 05 2020, at 12:02)
First of all, it's painfully obvious from your comments that you've never done any job similar in any way to Amazon warehouse workers. If you had, it would immediately stand out to you how silly are some of your remarks.
>Have there been documented cases inside a warehouse, and are those numbers worse than staying at home and not fulfilling orders?
Have you actually bothered to check the evidence mentioned in the post, namely the YouTube video? Obviously not. Presumably because it would force you to deal with the emotional reality of it, which you obviously don't want to. You'd much better prefer to read some clinical report.
As somebody who has produced reports and had personal experience of the things I reported on, I can assure you that those that just read reports are profoundly ignorant. Even when the reports are done correctly, and they often aren't.
>You don't hear "I would like to stop working, but the government hasn't ordered me to yet."
You mean that you, personally, haven't heard that. I have heard this from workers in the UK.
>I surely wouldn't want to be working on a pre-industrial farm—like vast majority of people before the 1900s.
This takes the cherry. You, of course, must have a nice job that is clearly superior to working in a pre-industrial farm. I'm not entirely sure that the average Amazon warehouse job is really superior to working in a pre-industrial farm. For starters, pre-industrial farms weren't obsessed on productivity, and there were plenty of opportunities to rest. The main problem with pre-industrial farms is that they came with pre-industrial healthcare... but then, in the US many people can't afford industrial healthcare, so I'm not sure any of it is better.
From: Jane Reyer (May 05 2020, at 12:07)
Thank you for this.
To me, the most important message is "If we don’t like certain things Amazon is doing, we need to put legal guardrails in place to stop those things. We don’t need to invent anything new; a combination of antitrust and living-wage and worker-empowerment legislation, rigorously enforced, offers a clear path forward."
I'm afraid this will get lost in the brouhaha, and wanted to encourage you--if you are looking for something to do-- to spend the next year or two promoting this as we (pray god) go into a new administration.
From: Linda DuPertuis (May 05 2020, at 12:09)
Good for you. Sometimes somebody has to do the right thing.
From: Gaston Gonnet (May 05 2020, at 12:16)
Hi Tim, with great respect from Switzerland, you certainly deserve enormous credit for this. Best wishes, we should talk some day. Gaston
From: Lee Levin (May 05 2020, at 12:16)
I always admired your strong moral code. Best of luck.
From: Amanda (May 05 2020, at 12:17)
Thank you for taking this stand on the side of equity.
From: Rick (May 05 2020, at 12:18)
"chickenshit" is an understatement - "murderous" might be more appropriate.
From: Classical Cara (May 05 2020, at 12:24)
You knew how Amazon was, yet you continued to work for them. Ambulances parked outside warehouses in the summer because workers would keel over due to the heat inside. Where were you then? Pregnant women being made to stand for ten hours. Miscarriages. Facing disciplinary action for not calling in sick even if they were in the hospital. Employees in the warehouse being treated like animals. Come on, it's not new news. Stories like this have been in the news for years. It's not admirable that you quit. Because you should have quit years ago. It's not like you didn't know how Amazon treated the warehouse workers. Didn't have to work there to know. The whole world knew.
From: sergio (May 05 2020, at 12:25)
i hope with all my heart your decision will not be forgotten, i am just afraid covid 19 will bring even more unfairness and inequality, just as the 2008 crisis.
From: Eric Olof Sundin (May 05 2020, at 12:25)
Giving a whole new courageous meaning to ‘bray’
This verse presented itself on the occasion of Tim Bray resigning from Amazon in protest
We grind in daily strife absurd
opaque our times & locus
Reality banned, vision blurred
while jarringly out of focus.
We’re distracted by games of fantasy
with noses on screens ubiquitous
sunken in political apathy
to Power Elite obsequious.
When we woefully bray
behind foul a bellwether
aren’t we deserving prey
to perish all together?
Ain’t it cowering in effete deceit
when we’re cowardly being too discreet?
From: frank (May 05 2020, at 12:26)
Congratulations! You are truly are a MAN FOR ALL SEASONS.(Sir Thomas More).A rarity!
How rare :How many American Generals have resigned over the misguided- misled polices of war after Sept 11 ;in my opinion the attack on Afghanistan was justified then it was morphed into an war for the control of oil
Even so Hitler -the epitome of evil only had about 4 attempts on his life ;my point being you act is truly an act of individual courage
Frank Lipsky Retired Physicist Ex USAF
Truth I'm biased ;my grandson worked at Amazon in Chattanooga to earn tuition money! His hobby weight lifting and he quit calling Amazon a slave shop
From: Mark Bettini (May 05 2020, at 12:45)
Tim Bray joins a list of heroes - those not afraid to stand up to economic power, political power, or those who control the country. Congratulations for your courage and honesty. Today you join another hero - the government whistleblower Rick Bright, who released an 89-page document documenting more abuses of power that the Trump Administration practices on a daily - no hourly - basis.
TIME Magazine Will have a difficult time this year in selecting its person of the year there are so many candidates who have sacrificed so much only to be harassed and vilified by the GOP and the Trump Administration. Thank you Gentlemen!
From: Mary (May 05 2020, at 12:48)
Tim Bray showed INTEGRITY and I appreciate it.
From: Morgwai (May 05 2020, at 12:55)
your action was inspiring and admirable: hopefully it will give example to others to stand against injustice.
PS: if you are thinking about starting your own company, I'll be probably happy to work for you ;)
From: Rob Cottingham (May 05 2020, at 12:57)
Thank you for this. In times like these, it's reassuring to see someone taking such a principled stand for treating workers decently.
From: Marcel (May 05 2020, at 13:01)
Came across an article on Vice.com today, shared through AOC's Facebook-post and I must say hats off for your action signing off at Amazon.
Morals before money. Respect!
From: Janelle (May 05 2020, at 13:03)
Tim - Thank you thank you thank you! Thank you - for your courage to stand by your morals, for using your platform and voice to support the Amazon warehouse workers whose voices are continually drowned out, for inspiring actions that are led with empathy and ethics. Wishing you the best!
From: Isaac Askew (May 05 2020, at 13:04)
Very admirable! Thank you for standing up for what's right and using your position to help others.
From: Diana Matthews (May 05 2020, at 13:06)
Excellent. I walked from an excellent job in the nursing home industry for the same reasons. Sometimes a crisis such as this pandemic reveals the deep darkness you knew existed but in such a blatant way you are unable to continue to dismiss as “business”. I, too, will not “serve or drink that poison”. Well done and best wishes. Sleeping at night is priceless.
From: Kirby (May 05 2020, at 13:07)
That's why we have unions! To allow workers to get together and protest dangerous work conditions, harassment, unfair management practices, illegal wage & hour practices and low wages. If owners, executives and supervisor didn't do that stuff and pretend they cared about their employees, workers would not need to form a union.
From: Jarda (May 05 2020, at 13:18)
Is it OK to translate this article for a Czech newspaper?
From: Loretta O (May 05 2020, at 13:25)
Thank you for having the integrity to do what is right. As a stockholder of Amazon, I am not happy with Amazon’s practices during this pandemic. Price gouging and not keeping workers safe is not Integrity
From: Juan Camilo Munoz (May 05 2020, at 13:44)
You are such a great person to have the courage to do such a impressive thing!To say no to this kind of job in AWS. Most of the people would just staying aside and watch.
Im pretty sure you will find a great opportunity soon.
Regards from Colombia South America.
From: José Angel Figueroa (May 05 2020, at 13:46)
Dear Mr. Tim Bray, it is refreshing to read your essay and reasons why you could no longer work as an executive at Amazon. This coronavirus capitalism has shown the worse in greed and callousness among the global elite & wealthy in the WH & in corporate America. Your strength, honor, and integrity is not for sale. I don't know you but if we ever cross paths, I would be proud to shake your hands and hug you on behalf of those who struggle for climate change and for social justice. What a rare & beautiful mind & soul you have! Bless you, Mr. Bray. You dare to be free!
From: Matt Jones (May 05 2020, at 13:48)
Thank you for taking a stand. I feel like there are a lot of people out there that have power and influence but ignore those that don't. I wish you had a larger platform and could spread this message even further. My household gave up our Amazon account and refuse to order anything from Amazon. We're trying to convince our friends and family to do the same. It's small and I know my couple hundred bucks a year isn't crushing the empire, but I sleep well and contribute more to local shops because of it. Kudos to you, and best of luck in your future.
From: Cg (May 05 2020, at 13:52)
Amazing action. We need more people like you, sir.
From: Mare (May 05 2020, at 13:54)
Tim - First off, thank you for standing up for justice and doing the right thing. I have avoided buying from amazon for years (ever since "The Everything Store" came out) because I do not approve of how they treat their workers. [Full disclosure, I do subscribe to the Washington Post, and I have very mixed feelings about that.]
You say the media didn't cover the warehouse workers' stories, but I disagree: PBS did. Their Frontline documentary, "Amazon Empire" is where I first heard of Chris Smalls. And, sadly, your average american doesn't watch PBS.
From: Peter M (May 05 2020, at 13:57)
As a former manager in a fulfillment centre launch, I was shocked by the top down leadership style and toxic culture. Its not what I expected when I took the job....I thought it would be pretty progressive and team oriented, like your experience at AWS.
From: Doug Zacker (May 05 2020, at 14:00)
You have my highest admiration Tim. I too left a job on principle and gave up a lot in the process. I firmly believe that most people within large companies would like to see it run differently but say or do nothing to protect their own interests. Away from work they may believe they are all for workers' rights, universal healthcare, the environment, etc., but unless they do something when these things are at risk in their workplace, nothing will ever change and they are just hypocrites. Thank you for helping to make a difference or at least doing something that we all would hope ill make a difference.
From: James (May 05 2020, at 14:03)
Yesterday we commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the protests and retaliatory murders by members of the Ohio National Guard at Kent State on May 4,1970. You're standing up like we did against injustice. Retaliation is almost inevitable. Hopefully they won't be using live ammunition. Mazeltov!
From: Edward M. (May 05 2020, at 14:08)
Thank you for using your platform for good. Your sacrifice (cool job, missed colleagues, compensation) will likely be forgotten, but, the seed will plant a tree and I hope that many more will follow in your steps.
From: bill chase (May 05 2020, at 14:19)
thank-you. sounds like you did the right thing! your integrity is top notch!
i assume you have read/listened to/are aware of chris hedges who, many years ago quit the ny times on a matter of principle and has since created a successful and meaningful career as a writer and speaker.
your future is bright!
From: Richard Beck (May 05 2020, at 14:25)
Thank you so much for your bravery. If only your empathetic and compassionate and moral actions could be a motivator to others. I look at the stock Market today and it soaring like an Eagle, despite all the misery in our country. Big business will find a way to profit from misery Its gotten obscene and Most everyone I know feels powerless to have an impact.Thank you for you integrity.
From: Vidya (May 05 2020, at 14:31)
What you did was incredibly brave. Of course, what the warehouse workers did took even more guts since they probably don't have much to fall back on. But change can't happen unless the people with wealth, power, and a louder voice stop and support them. Maybe you should start the company that lives these values inside and out. If you do, I'd love to be a part of it. Good luck with your future endeavors!
From: Amilynn Adams (May 05 2020, at 14:38)
I admire your integrity. I left NAFC (BFI3, February 12, 2020) for many reasons, but one of the primary drivers was an epiphany identical to yours. You have essentially raised the same issues that I tried to raise through my leadership chain of command. I tried to build my associates to achieve results. Instead the expected actions were to metaphorically beat associates to deliver results. I disagreed and couldn’t commit. So like you, I left.
Congratulations on preserving your integrity and maintaining your values as a leader. Capitalism has no moral compass and the company’s most recent actions have been appalling. RSUs will never fill the void left by selling your soul!
From: Sarah Menary (May 05 2020, at 14:41)
Thank you for your integrity and standing up for what matters. I hope your example encourages other senior management to follow
From: Micah (May 05 2020, at 15:02)
> It treats its workers humanely, strives for work/life balance
You never really worked with any DCO techs, did you?
From: Staci (May 05 2020, at 15:09)
In what feels like an endless feed of bad and sad news, this gave me so much hope. Thank you, Mr. Bray, for being a good man who values the importance of whistle blower protection and human lives over a dollar or a million dollars. The next company who scoops you up will be lucky to have you.
From: Brenda (May 05 2020, at 15:15)
I admire your thinking and your actions. You have inspired me to step up to bat for doing the right thing at least one more time each day. This week I risked Amazon scrutiny to get trademark protection restored for 3 sellers. I'm on the lookout for what I can do next.
- a 3P seller on Amazon
From: Stef Mattfeld (May 05 2020, at 15:28)
Thank you, Tim, for speaking truth to power. I read your blog post on line this morning and am moved and so glad your post is getting press. Thanks to your post more people are learning of Amazon's culpability during a time when it is making so much money off of people sheltering at home who want to support people working on the frontline as the Amazon workers are, and dont know the truth behind Amazon's do-gooder front.
From: Anonymous (May 05 2020, at 15:33)
Amazing! And thank you for setting a great example. I also, just left Amazon. It honestly ruins the soul and has a terrible work culture. It really brings out the worst in people.
From: Lanie Anderson (May 05 2020, at 15:33)
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
From: Intentionally Anonymous (AWS Support) (May 05 2020, at 15:38)
Hi Tim!!!! Thank you so much for becoming the standard-bearer of truth. This is the second time I’ve been proud to be an Amazonian. The first was before I started here.
I wanted to mention something you said, that AWS is largely an ethical organization, however the support organization is very much a sweatshop situation. Concierges and cloud support engineers are tracked for effectiveness and recruited from lower-income sources.
AWS illegally pulls H1Bs from India and China by the thousands that could have been sourced locally or retrained from our massive workforce.
Similar to the like warehouse workers, these employees have unreasonable demands on their time, including nonexistent HR guidelines on safe worker hours. Sure, they´re not walking 10 miles a day, but they are sometimes working 16 to 20 hours a day every single day.
This causes AWS to repeatedly abuse its power to “page” employees at any time of the day or night for any reason, often times being paged for things that are not emergencies. Internal services are the same, I have seen 1 person responsible for interacting with hundreds of internal customers a day for massive projects who are burned into the ground before they leave the company or are driven out on leave of absence.
AWS is not an inherently moral organization, they´re just more successful at hiding their shit than Amazon.com. They sell Rekognition to police forces with no Terms of Service to require humane usage of the services or third party auditing. Rest assured if prewar Hitler was a live today, Andy Jassy would be hustling teams around winning the entire contract.
The last thing I want to mention is that Amazon inherently will NOT protect workers from evil managers who abuse you and violate your rights. AWS and Amazon managers regularly put employees on performance improvement plans. There was a person who emailed the entire awsdevsupport after being placed on a PIP when a manager created and distributed false information to PIP him.
Again, thank you for this. This is a decade for workers.
From: jacqueline johnny (May 05 2020, at 15:48)
This will hurt me too because I love the convenience of shopping at Amazon. I have been an Amazon shopper for the last years. However from today I will no longer shop Amazon until Jeff Bezos. Address the concerns of the employees who make him wealthy.
From: Markus Roemer (May 05 2020, at 16:00)
Thank you Tim - still the fearless leader!
From: sabrina (May 05 2020, at 16:17)
Doing the right thing is rarely easy. Integrity is doing the right thing, even when it's not in your best interest in the short run. Good for you. You'll come out better for not only doing the right thing, but sharing it with the world.
From: Ewa (May 05 2020, at 16:24)
Both a sad and hopeful story.
I like capitalism and I like social justice & support for the weak so they are given the chance to bounce back. Let's see if humans can figure out a way to marry the two for the greater good :)
From: Gail (May 05 2020, at 16:35)
Thank you. The world needs more like you. I hope you inspire others to do the same.
From: Eliana (May 05 2020, at 16:36)
You're my hero. It takes guts to do what you did, but you'll be better for it. All the best to you.
From: Marcella Franks (May 05 2020, at 16:40)
Kudos to you sir for standing up for what is right. to bad there are not more in the company like you. Losing 1 mil mah. don't worry, when one door closes a bigger and better one opens. Much luck to you.
From: Nancy Gendimenico (May 05 2020, at 16:59)
Tim -I hope you and Stacy Mitchell have connected. She is chipping away a little at a time to expose the damage at Amazon.
From: Cat Briggs (May 05 2020, at 17:29)
I admire you for living ethically and compassionately, caring for the lowest on the pay scale. They are among the true front-line workers. They risk their lives each day.
From: Roxy (May 05 2020, at 18:10)
The world needs more coursge like yours. I think I sent you a linkedin reauest to connect and would love to work with you some day. It's great values and ethics we need. You will do great!
From: Venkat S (May 05 2020, at 18:11)
You are a brave whistleblower ala Enron WhistlBlower.
I just cannot believe Jeff Bezos can be so heartless.
If I see no response from him towards your resignation ,then I will as well shop at walmart.com and other sites
From: Mark (May 05 2020, at 18:23)
I'm sorry for what you are feeling right now. That said, you wrote a very articulate, caring, and heartfelt open letter which would make anyone with a pulse and elementary level reading skills proud. I wish more people stood by their convictions and stood up for the under represented. I have no doubt that you will have better more exciting and fulfilling opportunities ahead.
From: izabella (May 05 2020, at 18:23)
thank you, i am sure your integrity will inspire many others :)
From: taylor m (May 05 2020, at 18:33)
I am a shopper but the chris smalls firing was too much for me as well. i havent shopped at amazon since. he wasnt asking for more money or longer breaks. He was simply asking a retail company for mask and gloves. He also thought that workers should be warned when a coworker became sick. the fact that amazon feels that this is too much soured me on them. I didnt make a scene I just stopped shopping with them. its a shame because my nephew works for amazon.
amazon has always broken the rules. from not collecting sales tax to allowing illegal things to be sold. but now its really putting profits before people.
P.S with the chris smalls firing they also were attempting to make him un-hirable. How disgusting.
From: Francis (May 05 2020, at 18:52)
Just want to say a big thank you for your actions. The future is very uncertain for many people, especially those at the lower end of the economic and social scale. It is Amazons loss, if they had any backbone they would talk to you and bring you back and get rid of those with the toxin flowing through their veins, they are the ones who will damage the company, you are the one who will make the company better (not perfect but better)and that's all anyone can do.
Remember 'bitterness consume the host' rise above it and keep your head high. The future is going to need leaders like you, knowing your there makes me feel a little bit safer in a very unsafe world.
From: Rebecca Boschee (May 05 2020, at 19:27)
Tim- I hope that you are not doubting your decision. What you did was the most heroic action I have seen yet. Thank you for caring about the workers and giving them a voice. You did the right thing and hopefully this will really expose what Amazon has been doing to the workers. Personally, I canceled my prime years ago when an employee delivered a package to me at 9pm using her own car. These workers are not earning enough and they are busting their ass. Amazon is slavery in the 21st century.
From: becky weidner (May 05 2020, at 19:39)
I am 64,
I marched for Angela Davis, voted for McGovern, Burnie and the Black Panthers.
BUT I NEVER STOOD UP FOR ETHICS AND THE WORKING PERSON LIKE YOU DID DUDE!,,,!!!
There seem to be so few people with guts like you have.
I am inspired by your actions, and appreciate what you have done. Working folks don’t have power or money to call attention to wrong so thank you and bless you for what you have done.
You are always welcome at my house.
From: Raj (May 05 2020, at 19:51)
Your courage is to be commended!! Bless you and hope you land in an organization worthy of you!
From: Karthik (May 05 2020, at 20:00)
Thank you, Tim for leading by example and for breaking down very clearly why you took the actions that you did. It's an accurate reflection of the problems presented both by individual firms and larger societal interests. Thank you.
From: Debbie (May 05 2020, at 20:14)
I applaud you for this. I’m sure it wasn’t easy but it’s a testament to your conscience. Thank you for caring about the little people. I think this pandemic has opened a lot of people’s eyes and I truly hope accepting ill treatment from employers goes by the wayside as an after-effect. I have to admit I bristled when I read Naomi Klein’s name, though. That she’d be given a platform is disappointing. She is not a good person.
From: Tricia (May 05 2020, at 20:19)
Thank you so much for taking a stand for those who cannot. All the best to you, always.
From: Luke Tulysewski (May 05 2020, at 20:25)
Thank you Tim for not only taking an ethical stand but articulating it so well. I greatly support your views and admire your action in the face of significant consequences. We need a brave new world and that calls for good people, especially high profile ones, making brave choices. Thanks for being one of those people.
From: Ron Moody (May 05 2020, at 20:29)
It's always the highest paying jobs that we're called to consider further employment with. Don't ask me why, but after 30 years in business, I can say that with full confidence. Some deny knowing God some even ( unconvincingly) deny he exists, but a test of character like this, one which will undoubtedly stay with you for the rest of your life, is not happenstance.
You faxed a decision of consciousness and you passed the test. Congratulations. You have gained not only validation of your good character, but the confidence to stand up for others regardless of the cost.
Be well my friend and to you I wish you great success and God speed.
From: Ricardo (May 05 2020, at 21:47)
Adiós Amazon. Hola Mundo!
From: H (May 05 2020, at 22:08)
Being right a lot should not mean walking over bodys.
The original culture is turning toxic due to power that Amazon has.
I hope this stand changes the internal seek for power and maybe we should add a new LP :Respect others.
From: Stefan (May 05 2020, at 22:10)
I can say only one word ...
From: Robert Hancock (May 05 2020, at 22:49)
Kudos and respect.
I shall re-evaluate my Amazon purchasing habits, but will stick with AWS for data services for the time being.
From: Dirk Burgdorf (May 05 2020, at 23:17)
As you stated your incoming loss won't be live changing compared to a blue collar employee. But your statement might mean a lot to other people, thanks for that!
From: Lennart (May 06 2020, at 00:06)
Thanks Tim, for your consequent action. Much respect!
From: Anton Okmyanskiy (May 06 2020, at 00:30)
I work/ed at AWS with Tim in Vancouver office. I salute you, Tim, for taking a moral stand with skin in the game.
My thoughts on your post here.
Just tried to ever slightly amplify your call for action for companies like Amazon to instil more humanity in their leadership principles and daily operations. It is totally doable and the right thing to do.
Of course, people can/should lobby governments to set the rules accordingly for all companies, but the test of ethical behavior is what you do when given a choice! So, moral leaders should leverage their privilege to rise above the race to the bottom and act with compassion.
Amazon is generally so well managed that if the top leadership makes this a goal, Amazon would absolutely be a shining example for others to follow. It is only a matter of will.
Enjoy your free time, Tim!
From: Alexander (May 06 2020, at 00:36)
Brave man! Thank you for standing up to Bezos Empire...
From: Fabian Mueller (May 06 2020, at 00:56)
Thank you very much for your courage. Your heart is at the right place. I regret that this situation is a personal disadvantage for you, but I admire your courage. Unfortunately there are far too few people of your kind in this world. I hope that Amazon will be held accountable by society for this misconduct. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
From: Thomas (May 06 2020, at 01:47)
Thank you for your courage! We need to see more of this kind of ethical behavior in tech.
Best from Berlin
From: Kathleen (May 06 2020, at 02:08)
You have helped grow my hope that we will escape toxic culture sooner rather than later.
I look forward to following your future endeavors. Thank you!
From: Deego (May 06 2020, at 04:05)
Respect, man, and thank you.
From: Gunnar Djurberg (May 06 2020, at 04:51)
Well done. Not many people stick to their principles when it comes at a cost (even if they can afford it)
From: Tim Hawkins (May 06 2020, at 05:22)
I remember you from your days on the Ontarion at U of G.
I am proud that you have kept your standard of social justice.
Congratulations on taking a gutsy but necessary move.
All the best.
From: sue (May 06 2020, at 05:24)
Many thanks for doing what is RIGHT, not many people do and what you have shown is courage which demands RESPECT.
From: E (May 06 2020, at 06:19)
Proud of you. Thanks
From: Mick. (May 06 2020, at 06:30)
Nice to see someone with morals and principles. My first Amazon purchase was in 1999, I will rethink my next Amazon purchases.
From: Jenna (May 06 2020, at 06:35)
I am stunned and amazed by you. From one of those people who is always on the outside and powerless...I thought humans of your caliber no longer existed!! I am so very proud of you!!
From: Volker Naulin (May 06 2020, at 06:36)
Good to see someone taking responsibility seriously!
From: Elizabeth L (May 06 2020, at 06:53)
Thank you for your leadership, and for centering the stories and experiences of the folks on the losing side of the power balance. This is what true allyship looks like.
From: Massimo (May 06 2020, at 07:05)
Ti ringrazio per aver scelto secondo coscienza.
From: Fred Jones (May 06 2020, at 07:21)
Too bad we all don't have the capability to forgo a million in stock and quit our job out of perceived ethical balances...
From: Bill Christie (May 06 2020, at 08:00)
Thank you Tim,
Thank you for showing that technical people are not just mechanisms, but actual caring and aware people that want the work they do and the companies they work with mean something.
From: Jake (May 06 2020, at 08:24)
Thanks for standing up and speaking out. Thanks for making the hard decision to not support toxicity. I greatly respect that! Good luck in the future.
From: Richard Pauli (May 06 2020, at 08:34)
Thank you for doing this - a heroic act both personal and universal.
Time to do the math. It's simple risk analysis - the near term threat is Covid19 and the mid and longer danvger is global warming. Just physical laws.
Ignoring and denying reality because of ideology or psychological avoidance just imperils everyone.
You have helped uncover the enormity of the challenge. Human equity and climate justice is a construct that must precede survival. All is education -- and lessons not learned, will be repeated.
From: Charl (May 06 2020, at 08:40)
They are better without you. Try running your own startup and business in todays modern age having to cater every single guys worries about petty crap. You wont make it very far. I say good riddens. And thanks to Amazon for still paying and employing people while the majority of the world is laying off.
From: Steve W (May 06 2020, at 08:54)
Tim, so I applaud your standards. But more, I feel motivated to action. My thoughts are the only way to fight this is to provide alternatives (where possible) for services that are done in a more ethical way. I already had some thoughts on this and your article kind of pushed me over the edge. I'm still working on a model, but I feel there is room to create digital services that can be competitive , that everyone involved can earn a decent living. but not worry about becoming billionaires (or even multi millionaires) 'm thinking of the original Ben and Jerry's structure of pay differences. I know there are many hurdles to compete against the deep pockets of big tech companies. But without market place alternatives they don't have any reason to change.
From: Priscilla (May 06 2020, at 09:00)
From: Jasson (May 06 2020, at 09:07)
Well done Tim. You made a contribution to society, but also just for yourself those million dollars will worth less than what you gain by doing this.
From: michael margolies (May 06 2020, at 09:19)
Thank you for your example and courage. Although I don't entirely agree with you (I'm a capitalist but one who seeks a higher morality) to me real capitalism is fair, competitive, rewards the contributors who earn it, and treat everyone as important at all levels. To me, what you dealt with was about greed, power mongering and selfishness, not capitalism.
I resigned from Amazon (with no fanfare) 4 years ago because of ethical management I simply could not tolerate or participate in. Like you, I went through channels, documented my issues, met with ever high levels of leadership and HR and was told that even though it was clear I was in the right, that I had ended my Amazon career and could count on regular and systematic efforts to force me to quit. It seems the leadership principle of standing up for what’s right wasn’t really true. In fact, mindless sheep was the actual order of the day, a common desire of socialistic organizations, sameness, conformity, do not ask questions, do not challenge superiors was the real leadership principle at play.
When I dared to challenge a clearly dishonest and unethical directive by my manager and supported by his friend, our liaison from HR and my boss’s manager (who stepped down due to his own misconduct) it was clear I would be run out. In the almost 4 years since I resigned 5 people have held and left my position and most of the managers under me have left due to similar unethical and dishonest management.
The week I left I had an exist interview with my bosses new boss a L10 at corporate he let me know he was aware of me being forced out, had read my complaints and reports and that despite my being in the right I had to go to protect what he saw as important and valuable leaders even though they were doing some despicable and unethical things.
From: Debbie (May 06 2020, at 09:29)
Thank you for being American. I did the same thing. Left a long time teaching position for administration lack of ethics. The longer you are gone the stronger you will be and the sadness will go down. You are brave and ethical.
From: Ashley (May 06 2020, at 10:08)
I don't know you, but reading this story makes me proud of you. I suspect (hope) you won't be the first leader to leave a company in response to pandemic management lacking in compassion. Kindest regards...A
From: Jon Hall (May 06 2020, at 10:43)
for standing tall!
What's our next step?
From: Theresa Lee (May 06 2020, at 11:24)
Thank you for your efforts.
As an ordinary consumer I can say that Amazon's attitude towards it's employees has bothered me for some time now.
With Covid going on and stores closing I have felt like Amazon is the only place to get certain items.
I, for one will not be supporting Amazon purchasing after this epidemic is over.
From: Noah Carty (May 06 2020, at 11:29)
Good job standing up for what's right. Quitting is the only thing you can do to help, I pray Amazon gets it's cooperate head out of it's own butt and keeps it's workers safe first, like you have decided to do.
From: Christopher (May 06 2020, at 11:32)
Thank you for standing up for what's right. I have begun to think of Amazon as a bully, and an employer in which there is a race to the bottom. I worked as a contractor for them for better part of a year, and I don't have the best feelings about it. I hope that you would consider not using Uber and Lyft as well. They are much worse. While yes, that rules out supporting the drivers, the drivers are being screwed left and right getting paid $0.35 a mile and some markets, literally losing money every mile. I refuse to support such a farce and exploitation of people trying to just survive. In what other job do you think it would be right to require a worker to basically front $20,000 in order to earn money? What they're doing is essentially tricking people into thinking they're actually making money, but what they're really doing is just pulling money out of the value of their car car, working for free. It's wrong. It needs to stop.
From: MARI Wilson (May 06 2020, at 12:16)
You’re a hero! With morals. Thank you so very much for caring about the little guy. Sorry but Bezos & Co. are just another corporate set of greed bags...that without their employees wouldn’t HAVE a business. And of course in their self denial that they are racists or at the very least part of the systemic racism problem. This mentality sickens me.
But the people want their stuff. Lazy people just gotta get their stuff, as long as it is convenient FOR THEM. Many of whom are middle class worker bees themselves.
They have become the internet Wal-Mart. I will miss the great choices on Prime Video but less TV isn’t a bad thing. And buh-bye Alexa. I can get off my ass and look things up for myself.
And people wonder why we need unions. Smh.
Sorry for the long post and best wishes to you & yours!
From: Louis Mussat (May 06 2020, at 12:44)
From: ray hackinson (May 06 2020, at 13:07)
Shocked! Shocked that 21st century capitalism is the new scapegoat for oppresive behavior on the part of management.
It used to be 20th century capitalism then 19h century capitalism
The workers on the bottom of the totem pole will get the shaft.
This country was built on the platform of masters and slaves and while things might be better now, the overriding ethic is still there.
From: Ignat (May 06 2020, at 13:25)
I admire your strength in making this call, thats what a true leadership is. To step up for your beliefs, to step up for the people around you.
In this storm people like you are making the difference. You giving people in US and beyond an excellent example that we have to stand up for one another. Note - I'm reading this overseas.
I am not sure why should you be blue. While it's a move into an uncertainty surely you figure things out.
Thank you for making the difference. Be well and stay safe.
From: Terry Craig (May 06 2020, at 13:37)
THANK YOU for standing up for what you believe in, and for helping to bring this issue to the public's attention in the process. You're my hero.
From: Missy (May 06 2020, at 13:47)
Wow, a C-level exec that has ethics and courage. So they do exist...at least one anyway. That gives me a glimmer of hope.
From: Lee Evans (May 06 2020, at 14:47)
Reading this made me cry: with relief because some people with influence and power still have morals and ethics. With deep sadness, because I'm dealing with this at my own place of work right now.
Capitalism sucks. Greed, not compassion or charity or empathy, is rewarded.
Thank you for your courage, Tim Bray
From: Lynn (May 06 2020, at 15:52)
Tim: Your sacrifice for fellow employees and concern for their well being is the sign of a true leader. I hope others see your contribution as such.
From: Aaron Jones (May 06 2020, at 16:19)
"because capitalism". what an incompetent statement. "because corporatism". you should know better.
From: Brenda (May 06 2020, at 17:00)
You are a role model. You stand up for what is right. We need more people to do this.
From: marita (May 06 2020, at 17:01)
Thank you for doing the right thing even though it came at a cost for you and your family. After reading the news I often wonder if anyone is brave enough to speak out and stand up for what is right. You are and you did. I have chills. Good luck. Thanks for restoring my faith today.
From: Nicole Rustad (May 06 2020, at 17:04)
It’s impressive when an executive leads with their conscience by putting ethics ahead of personal gain. Thank you for demonstrating publicly how to take a stand for people who are in a vulnerable position!
From: Pity Add (May 06 2020, at 17:44)
THANK YOU SIR for stepping out of the upper echelons to support rank & file, & decency. Hearing that you lost $1M for doing so, I can see why such honorable behavior is so rare. I do think your talents, very much including your skill at authoring words for direct human consumption, will provide rewards to make up for losing those 24K golden handcuffs.
From: TH (May 06 2020, at 17:55)
Thank you for taking a stand, especially at personal cost.
From: Michael Annis (May 06 2020, at 18:29)
I have questions for Mr. Bray about Amazon's Connections system and their ethical hotline system. My guess is that, as a VP, he was probably aware of the sinister nature of the warehouse operations and their subordination of worker safety to productivity numbers for some time. The Delta BC facility had significant numbers of head injuries and lacerations but chose to cover them up at the same time as they were subverting WorkSafeBC and BC Department of Labour. Why now?
From: ja (May 06 2020, at 18:46)
From: Shanzi (May 06 2020, at 18:49)
It seems you have been brainwashed by SJWs.
From: withheld (May 06 2020, at 19:40)
... I’m a “warehouse” employee - +4 yrs - that’s senior - quite a long tenure for a simple plebe... we do appreciate the concern of you folks... but, let’s be honest - your from a different co that we know - we are two different companies - I mean, you guys can bring your dogs to work, right?... we work 10 hr days n stand 98% of that period... most of us really don’t care about your pet causes - we just want to survive... and where were you when we were making $13/hr... thanks, but we’re not a “cause”
From: petit (May 06 2020, at 23:22)
Bravo pour votre courage !
From: Jack Charles (May 06 2020, at 23:26)
This is probably the stupidest blog I’ve ever read. To be quite frank, I’m glad you’re not part of such an amazing company anymore. I hope you end up as a warehouse worker in Walmart so you can actually witness and experience “harsh working conditions”
From: Vanessa (May 07 2020, at 00:27)
Thank you so much for your support and bravery! Truly inspirational! I'm so very proud to see leaders with good moral character and back bone existing in these spaces and using their voices to help others in need.
From: _eemu (May 07 2020, at 00:56)
this is a right decision. this is a bold decision. i'm glad someone in IT draws a line for once! all the best!
From: Stephanie (May 07 2020, at 01:23)
All I can is that I still have faith in humanity after reading what you wrote.
From: Paulo (May 07 2020, at 02:55)
Thank you for taking a stance. The world needs more people like you....The warehouses are using a disinfectant called Nisus DSV to disinfect "hard to reach places"...It is being deployed before the start of our shift and during our lunch break by individuals with enhanced PPE. Nisus contains ammonium chloride which has some nasty side effects. The warehouses have failed to alert associates about the use and potential side effects. Initially we were told that they are using hydrogen peroxide, but after jumping through several hoops, my "site leader" finally admitted that the actual chemical is ammonium chloride. My efforts to spread the word has fallen on deaf ears and some of the managers are still telling associates that they are using hydrogen peroxide...Please help me spread the word ❤️🙏...
From: Finno Furre (May 07 2020, at 04:32)
I applaud your integrity!
From: Love (May 07 2020, at 04:48)
I highly respect your decision and wish you all the best!
If amazon were to be broken up, do you think that would improve the workers situation?
To my knowledge AWS is currently subsidizing the e-commerce monopoly. Would that help?
From: German (May 07 2020, at 06:20)
Muchas gracias. Siento mucha admiración y respeto por su decisión.
Necesitamos más líderes en tecnología como usted.
Mejores cosas vendrán.
From: Jane Sebelien (May 07 2020, at 06:51)
You can look at yourself in the mirror, sleep at night, and hold your head high.Bless you.
From: Manisha (May 07 2020, at 07:12)
Thank you for having a consious and standing up for human rights.
From: Mick (May 07 2020, at 07:37)
It is evident from your story that it takes a lot of courage to walk away from a compensation package you had. But it takes even more courage (than I can fathom) to actually point out the wrong doings of management in a powerful enterprise such as Amazon. This is exactly what you have demonstrated in the hour of need of those blue collar workers who are forced to work crazy shifts and work loads for low wages in an extremely tough economic climate. Capitalism is great when it is exercised with social and ethical responsibility. Otherwise capitalism is disguised communism where power is vested only a handful that call the shots for the disadvantaged majority. Your story is enlightening to the extent that it sheds light on what AMZ means to people in the market place versus what they actually are. I hope AMZ takes heed of your message and fixes the issues for the warehouse workers. BTW, I just discontinued my Prime Membership.
From: Shalini (May 07 2020, at 08:35)
Thank you for standing up for what's right. It takes immense courage to do what you did and it sends a clear message about what's really going on in the company.
From: Ed Cohen (May 07 2020, at 09:20)
I saw this and other disturbing behaviors while there. Very sad to see such an influential organization not realize their role in society.
From: Brian McGrane (May 07 2020, at 09:34)
Thank you for setting an ethical example!
From: Marnie Tunay (May 07 2020, at 09:39)
I think there's going to be real trouble in the U.S. no matter who wins the next election. Amazon's highly publicized behaviors are just one element in what may become a 'perfect storm' of a rising consciousness of economic injustices, met up with a sense of despair that anything is going to change for the better.
I'm in Canada, and I've been truly shocked to learn the conditions under which 30% of Americans labor: no health care, daily decisions over whether to pay bills or feed the family, rising costs of everything except their salaries.
I fear that civil war may be on the horizon for the U.S., and that we will go down with them, because of our decades-long complacent dependence on them.
From: Peter (May 07 2020, at 09:44)
Thank you for standing to the rights of the little people/boots on the ground. Its amazing that Amazon being very profitable and doing extremely well put its workers at risk and ignoring basic safety to squeeze the blood from the stone. Good luck in your new career, hopefully others at Amazon will speak out versus thinking about their %
From: Michael D (May 07 2020, at 11:03)
Thank you for standing up for your fellow workers. I hope this is the beginning of a phase-change in Amazon (and further...)
From: Janice Poss (May 07 2020, at 11:19)
One can always find another job!! But conscience is a gift!! At least someone still has some values and ethics!! Robber barons eventually get taken down!! We can only hope!
From: Ramit Batra (May 07 2020, at 11:47)
Kudos! More power to you. Hope these corporates take the rights of the minorities & not-so-influential workers more seriously.
From: Elena Luna (May 07 2020, at 12:16)
Bravo for taking a stand even though it came with a financial loss. That shows integrity, something our country needs more of.
What is the solution moving forward? How can we as consumers make a difference as well? I am a customer and a stock holder. I love the convenience of Amazon but I am also compassionate to the well being of those that work there. Please keep us informed on this issue. Thank you. I wish you well.
From: Michael K. (May 07 2020, at 15:16)
Well written, Tim. I can't say enough about how much I admire you. You've done what most of us can usually only dream of doing.
While I don't necessarily agree that AWS is better than the rest of Amazon (in my experience, I also found that I have worked with incredible people led by a pretty terrible group of managers), the "fungible units" big really resonated with me.
This is something that I believe holds true across the entire company. We are seen as easily replaceable and interchangeable, and (no matter how high up the chain we try to go to get things to be a little better) no one listens.
"The only winning move is not to play."
From: Nicole Rustad (May 07 2020, at 15:42)
It’s impressive when an executive leads with their conscience by putting ethics ahead of personal gain. Thank you for demonstrating publicly how to take a stand for people who are in a vulnerable position!
From: Jill Caldwell (May 07 2020, at 16:27)
Stand proud...you have integrity and empathy...those qualities will serve you well through life wherever it takes you.
From: Jamie Pearce (May 07 2020, at 16:28)
what else to say but bravo!sleep well as a decent human being as opposed to the unlovely human beings who are to frightened to have a conscience.
From: Fox Mulder (May 07 2020, at 17:33)
Amazon management doesn't like people who speak truth to power; they try to crush them.
Whether it's passing people over for promotion by ignoring them or by discriminating, writing them up for things that never happened or things that they let others get away with, trying to pressure them to quit or firing them when that fails, the real failure lies in the executives who occupy the C-Suite.
These are the people who got their job not because they have any experience in doing the work or know anything about it, but due to the fact that Bozos the Clown has cultivated some relationship with them, so he rewards them for that.
The inmates running the asylum, and they aren't doing a very good job. Everyone should boycott Amazon until they agree in writing to pay everyone at least half of the highest paid manager at each facility, that person being the GM.
Even better: now that earnings season is here for Amazon, it's time to vote your proxy shares. So you should vote AGAINST anything management wants you to vote for, and vote FOR anything that management opposes.
You've got until May 26, so get going now.
From: Darin (May 07 2020, at 17:35)
Well done, you're a good person, we need more like you in the upper levels of corporations around the world.
From: Sara Wilson (May 08 2020, at 00:27)
Good for you to stand by your morals. The world needs more people like you to serve as role models and to remind us to live better lives by standing by our own morals. Thank you.
From: Tamara P. (May 08 2020, at 02:50)
I'm a long time customer I am disappointed and will be watching for Amazon's response to this and everything else. I hope to see them step up and do the right thing, or I will no longer be able to be a member.
From: Mario (May 08 2020, at 04:09)
Tim - thank you for being one of the good guys. More are needed.
From: h (May 08 2020, at 05:17)
Thank you. I'd like to send an email because it feels like it has more weight, somewhow, but I hope even as a comment on your blog it will somehow be of some support. You made the right decision and it's rippling out to people like myself; it's a reminder that I want to stand by my values even if the consequences are unpleasant.
From: James (May 08 2020, at 06:13)
Thank you. There needs to be more people like you - people in power standing up for what is right and pointing out what is wrong. Is there some way we can incentivize companies to prioritize employee happiness/health/satisfaction above -or at least equal to- profitability?
From: anon (May 08 2020, at 06:43)
You could have stayed and hounded the crap out of the idiots who did that and eventually gotten fired yourself, AFTER MAKING A DIFFERENCE.
Instead, you do them a favor.
You're worse than them.
From: Siraj (May 08 2020, at 06:44)
Just ONE word my fellow human. RESPECT!!
From: Vanesa Ho (May 08 2020, at 07:07)
Thank you for sharing this and the names of the people who were wrongly dismissed. Kudos for taking a brave stance and standing up for what you believe in! It's inspirational, especially for working as a woman in the tech sector.
From: Heidi Unruh (May 08 2020, at 08:42)
I had an Amazon shopping cart full and abandoned it when I heard about the worker conditions and Amazon's brutal response to those who spoke out. I hope the company feels the impact of people who don't want to support this system with their dollars any more than you wanted to support it with your leadership.
From: Ginger Ambrose (May 08 2020, at 10:10)
Dear Tim -
As a fellow Canadian, I wish to say: "I'm so deeply proud of you"! You are a genuine HERO.
Eight years ago, I similarly left a very good corporate job in Vancouver to protest work environment & co-worker treatment brought on by a newly installed local manager. I knew the only way I could draw attention to the matter and involve our national management and the US corporate office was (as a high earner for them) to quit and explain in writing directly to the senior offices why I quit. Financially, it sure didn't do me any favors, but in my soul I knew it was the right and correct thing to do. In these situations, it is sometimes the only true voice we have.
From: Jeffrey A (May 08 2020, at 11:15)
I respect your decision, and and are grateful that you stick up for the smaller people on the totem pole. You quit in my birthday lol. So to really help the people, I have always felt like automation of businesses should belong to the people. I couldn't imagine what would happen to the little guy ,if the same mentality that current big business has. If they get ahold of that market, damn. If you ever decide to make that a personal goal. I would work for you for free.
From: Paul Fernhout (May 08 2020, at 17:18)
Hi Tim. Thanks for your explanation of current circumstances at Amazon as you saw them and how that links to why you did what you did. Good luck with whatever you are on to next. I went to Princeton with Jeff. While I did not make this specifically about him, you might find of interest this video I made back in 2010:
"The Richest Man in the World: A parable about structural unemployment and a basic income" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p14bAe6AzhA
From: Samantha Starkey (May 09 2020, at 02:43)
Large global companies have ruined Capitalism! Small businesses are were once the balancing beam between the two...now the global and national giant's are EVEN RICHER AND MORE TYRANNICAL and small businesses have been destroyed.....
God bless you and America
From: Lucas (May 09 2020, at 03:31)
Congratulations for your courage and thank your heart, Tim!
From: Peter Ukkonen (May 09 2020, at 09:17)
What the world needs - and I would say all the world needs - is more people like you. Thank you.
From: Pastor Michael-Vincent Crea (May 09 2020, at 09:47)
Dear Mr Bray, Peace!
I would like to thank U for being able to tell U own story, including painfully of the sadness, of Ur strength, courage and commitment of one’s convictions, addressing Amazon Corporation’s attitudes, atmosphere & antagonistic tactics and apathy or perhaps, pathetic position and posturing against the workers’ requests of realities of vital, safeguards of life and against death by CVD19, not only to themselves, their families, neighbors & society but to corporate bullying beyond the realm at any time but most of all, now, as Human Rights, indeed, are found, first & foremost, in each person having innately “Life, Liberty & Pursuit of Happiness,” from first breath out of our mother’s womb to the last breath before one’s tomb.
As a native Staten Islander, I’m concerned that the Amazon SI facility adjacent to the Kill (river in Dutch) Van Kull corridor has the highest carcinogenic contaminants & deaths by cancer in all of NYC as long documented with data by NYC Department of Health and Medical Examiners Office. Thus, along with residents, Amazon workers are given greater chances in such a toxic workplace environmentally situated environment that U and their voices of veracity, vitality & veracity ought not be receiving reprehensible retaliatory & repugnant re-actions by Amazon administration & authorities but rather, responsible responses to existing and emerging realities of the health, welfare, lives and livelihoods of those contributing to the Symphony of the Spirit & Songs sung straightforwardly a cappella or as mine in chorus: “Workers ARE oUr Wealth!”
Let the filthy rich start to clean up their own acts of putting profits before persons, families, neighbors and societies refusing to succumb enslaved into silence but rather rising with Human Rights demanding “Equal Justice Under Law”, “With Liberty & Justice for ALL,” & “Out of many, One,” not only engraved on every coin & currency but in the realization that there is no “economy”, local, national or global, without Humanity (a collective noun) & is without any minority but ONE = ALL!
One Love: Me, U, Urs, Each & All of Us!
Pastor Michael-Vincent Crea
One World Life Systems
“Serving One Love & Developing One World for the Common Good of Humanity”
From: Roxana (May 09 2020, at 22:06)
Being a mensch (simply, a "decent human being") has become so uncommon nowadays that when we see or hear of one, our first response might be to congratulate her or him for doing what it humanely necessary. Though I want to commend Tim Bray for his decency,I hesitate. In a sea of moral incompetence, a mensch looks praise-worthy indeed. However, instead...I thank Tim Bray for modeling menschhood.
From: Alex (May 10 2020, at 04:29)
Thanks for doing this. I hope this will be a wake up call for Amazon and the likes
From: Eivind (May 10 2020, at 05:39)
"I’m sure it’s a coincidence that every one of them is a person of color, a woman, or both. Right?"
And here I stopped reading.
From: Rick K (May 10 2020, at 16:42)
After hearing J Bezos say the best use of his wealth is in outer space, I quit Amazon Prime and I'll never spend a dime on him. Obvious to me the only way I can be effective, and I tell everyone he's a very bad guy.
From: David (May 11 2020, at 04:29)
I feel so much joy when I realize that there is still people with integrity in this world.
From: Anne (May 11 2020, at 08:27)
Thanks for standing up and saying that you want NO PART of what too rich Bezos does to the people that work there, and what he does to the planet and what he even does to sellers on his stupid site.
From: Steven Jackson (May 11 2020, at 14:07)
Glad you made the decision to resign. Amazon has become very toxic. There are many of us warehouse employees lives being destroyed. Amazon injured my back on the job then fired me. Leaving a Navy Veteran in a very bad position. So you might be aware the employee instagram amazonvestlife. Well I bought the domain amazonvestlife.com. I use the site as an online Voice of Associate VOA Board like your blog. So shady managers can't erase our voice
From: Elizabeth (May 11 2020, at 19:00)
Kudos to you... oh, and we'd love to have you in our team! ;)
From: Jim Tidwell (May 11 2020, at 22:36)
Bravo. I, a mere unit of consumption, started actively looking for sources other than Amazon over a year ago. Literally voting with my dollars. Your decision to leave is yet another data point for me, pushing me further in the right direction.
From: Conor (May 12 2020, at 09:33)
Seems a bit off to jump ship at the time when there front line workers could do with someone up top who isn't a complete vulture but okay.
From: M. Ochoa (May 12 2020, at 11:12)
Proud of you for sticking to your principles. There’s a true nobility to being superior to your former self ✌🏾❤️
From: E (May 14 2020, at 01:19)
I thought Amazon was my saving grace because it delivered to me in the middle of nowhere, had plenty of options, and kept delivery drivers employed. I believed it was a socially responsible company.I have since learned how wrong I was.
The workers were the ones who made magic happen for me. Non-essential items did not need to be sold in a Pandemic, certainly not at the risk of lives. I started reconsidering my beliefs. However, I thought it odd that the workers were striking but not calling for a boycott. Asking us not to buy extras, yet not joining up with the people crying boycott. This told me they needed their jobs and more importantly that they were scared to speak for their own safety.
Resigning as you did was a bold statement. I don't know whether it was a hard decision or not, but it became the right one. Not only did you quit without showing fear you confirmed what we all knew but did not want to believe.
Our country is dealing with the greatest crisis of my lifetime. People are treating each other exceptionally well except for a few extremists. I find myself surprised that virtually no public figures are doing anything other than making videos or throwing a smaller percentage of their income than I am at charities. The loudest talkers are proving to be hypocrites. This is a huge opportunity be of help and in ALL of America we have You, Bernie Sanders, and a few brave governors making that difference.
That's it. Even if a few more pop up (and I make up my mind about Bill Gates) less than TEN people in the US have made a definitive stand against profiteering and our flawed system. Many have had words, but there has been little action. YOU are one of those few people who declared their principles and acted with conviction. I would give you a Medal of Honor if it were in my power,you most certainly deserve it. Even if you just did it because you felt it was the right thing to do-that is exceptional and I am thankful for your example of true leadership.
From: Natalie Roberts (May 14 2020, at 08:40)
A huge thank you for having the integrity to speak on what was/is happening. Peoples lives are at stake and being in the Recruiting/Talent management business we always take safety into consideration, regardless of position.
From: Jan (May 15 2020, at 08:44)
Thank you, Tim!
From: Div (May 16 2020, at 02:13)
Thank you for this. I’ve been feeling this turmoil. And thank you for showing us that there are still leaders and high powered execs who will do the right thing. Thank you.
From: nynevakyte (May 16 2020, at 23:16)
For all I know this guy was just waiting for the right time to retire, and there is undeniably an element of privilege to being able to choose to quit your job as a form of protest. But this man DID choose to use that privilege in a way that would support those who could not, and that is heroic no matter what other factors are in play.
From: Jay (May 17 2020, at 03:02)
This is how the world changes! If everyone was like this then the world would be a different place. You have already changed the world for tomorrow :)
From: Liona (May 17 2020, at 03:55)
In our short lives, it’s amazing how people can lack any compassion to fellow humans. In the end nothing will matter because we all die. Not even your legacy. So it’s funny how some “leaders” fight for their images. Amazingly some just have no care but for their own profit, not realizing all that will go away just like any person living in a slum.
It’s great to leave a bold statement like a rainbow in the sky. People cheer for you and will inspire more to stand up for themselves. Because of your action, everyone sees compassion and therefore can breathe a little more easily.
From: Linda Skinner (May 17 2020, at 06:19)
I just read about this on CBC. Wow!! Way to go for being ethical and not letting the almighty buck hold you back from doing so. We need more people like you in this world.
From: David Campbell (May 17 2020, at 15:47)
Thank-you for your interview on CBC, I sense a kindred spirit. Fundamental questions I have been asking over coffee chats are how many millions, billions; how much power does one need? You have elevated this conversation on how 21st Century capitalism is faltering in how it distributes capital and how capital flight to the .1% is accelerating and economic velocity is spiraling downward.
Ten years ago, I was hearing how Walmart was threatening the economy; and needing a new economic classification between monopoly and oligopoly. I have subsequently seen Amazon since being a much greater such threat. As much as I have admired the forward-looking stance of Amazon and other big tech and its willingness to invest for the long-term, I have seen how the resulting economic strength is becoming self-perpetuating.
You are correct. It is not a Jeff Bezos or Tesla problem. It is a big tech problem that is fundamentally rooted in a couple of truths: 1) the benefits of automation will accrue to those who own capital and can invest in tech; and 2) the decreasing leverage with the .1% of those workers who are not needed to accelerate tech is continuing to accelerate.
Even basic income guarantee (BIG) programs do not address that other edge of the sword, that is, what to do with the "useless class" whose opportunity to contribute to the advancement of civilization will continues to shrink.
My view of where our world economy needs to go is derived from Gene Rodenberry's vision of civilization in Star Trek. With no longer a need to accrue wealth or worry about where daily needs of life will come; the primary economic currency will shift from capital to the opportunity to contribute and innovate.
How we get there; how we move beyond our current system of capitalism consolidating capital with the .1% and the certain ensuing Malthusian resource conflicts is as much a question of the survival of civilization as is our environment or viral or bacterial pandemics.
You have answered for yourself a fundamental question of human greed; how much money or power do you need? I believe you are somewhat unique and that government will need to find a way to regulate. Failing that, my other ongoing fundamental question is "in what form will revolution take place?".
Mountain Grove, Ontario
From: Maresol Casali (May 17 2020, at 22:53)
In 2011 my father was faced with a similar decision, different situation. He wanted to say to you thank-you, as he knows how alone one can feel for doing the right thing and standing up for the less well off but as hard as the road has been for my dad since, he wants you to know that he sleeps well at night and has never doubted his reasons for doing so.
You've made my father feel like he's not alone in thinking of his fellow man, woman and child.
From: Tushar (May 20 2020, at 18:54)
This was a very brave step! I admire your courage.
From: Xermán (May 22 2020, at 05:30)
Thanks for steping up for the people.
The way you act put you in the right side of the story regardind the late stage capitalist era we are in.
From: Christoph_K (May 22 2020, at 18:22)
I read this weeks ago, and thought to myself: You sure get a lot of attention now, I'll wait until that time is over.
Thank you, man. What you did is so cool. Or rather, why you did it.
I'm 11 years into the IT industry and left it in September and am now running a project in the travel industry to cut down aviation carbon emissions. And man, travel, with Corona, that is very ill-timed. But my heart tells me I just have to try it.
I felt uplifted when I read what you did and why. Yes, I am allowed to give up money/safety/whatever, too, out of principle, because integrity.
From: Not a Hero (May 24 2020, at 21:49)
Dear Tim, As an Amazon warehouse employee, I wanted to thank you not only for me, but for most of the people I work side by side with at Amazon.
I began working at Amazon to fill the gap when I unexpectedly lost my job. I looked at my situation as an opportunity; I would be able to use my skills and move up in the company at this new job, after all this was one of the most widely known and respected employers in the World, or so I thought. Pretty quickly I learned that this was not a company that I would want myself or anyone else to work for. At my warehouse, efficiency is not built into the processes, efficiency is communicated as volume dictates and enforced with fear. None of it makes any sense. People get hurt daily and no-one speaks up, my coworkers struggle to get listened to by Management and HR, good ideas are shot down even though they would make processes more efficient and safer: they do not listen or change anything, and they teach us like children. Communication is null and they thrive with this approach, creating confusion. The employee website, which is essential to employees because of the way the Business Model is designed, is riddled with flaws that hurt employees one way or another, from losing precious earned UPT, to being fired because of the computer bugs. They make it clear that if you don't conform to their rudimentary ways, then you will be replaced, and everyone knows it, they enforce with fear. Some people work there as a second source of income, but many count on it as their only source of income, and with no medical insurance, not only can they not count on steady hours they can't count on having the standard of benefits that most good employers offer. As I became more disenchanted pretty early on, I began researching Amazon and I discovered that the major problems that I thought were local Management failures, were in fact Worldwide. And then the pandemic hit, intensifying the level of dysfunction and to make matters worse, these examples I mention are only the tip of the iceberg. Like you talk about in your blog, the balance between a well run AWS and the bottom of the supply chain is drastically imbalanced, and the warehouse employees are suffering, more now than ever. My co-workers and I feel insulted being called heroes publicly, which is clearly a PR stunt. The worst part of our perpetual reality is reading and hearing the constant barrage of public statements that Amazon is making, from the millions they are spending during Covid, to the 150 'extreme measures' taken at the sites, none of which are recognizing the problems that lie there to begin with, never mind changing them. Working at Amazon during Covid-19 is eerie, we can feel the stress and pressure from Management, from fellow employees, and it is taking its toll on all of those concerned. In closing I thank you sincerely for taking your stand for all of us that you don't even know; those of us that are unheard. You heard us, and your actions say more to every single one of us than those actions of any Mayor, Congressman, or OSHA reps that have stepped out of their comfort zone to challenge Bezos himself. To me and my co-workers, you are the Hero, standing up for others when no-one else is really listening. You inspire me and my family, and please know that you alone have given strength to hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life. Tim Bray I commend your integrity and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Hopefully, gradually may we achieve our collective strength and succeed in our David and Goliath battle. Stay tuned and in the meantime, take a nice, clean breath of fresh air ;-)
From: Bill Crandall (May 26 2020, at 10:03)
Thank you and congratulations.
What might it take to create a worker-owned entity that would be a hub for sales in some similar way?
From: Selim (May 27 2020, at 20:30)
Tim, start a new company that aligns with your ethical standards and let me know. I would like to work with you. Get the fully-trained employees that you know and I am sure they will join you (unless there is a no-poaching clause in your termination agreement). Good luck in your next venture. email@example.com
From: Kimberly (May 29 2020, at 18:13)
Coward and a wimp
From: Danette Baltzer (Jun 07 2020, at 19:49)
I deeply appreciate that you stood Up for workers and tried to get Amazon to make structural changes for the climate. If we all did the work you have done, we’d have a better world.
From: SS (Jun 17 2020, at 07:19)
"Of course, its workers have power. The average pay is very high, and anyone who’s unhappy can walk across the street and get another job paying the same or better."
But now AWS is suing employees for walking across the street and getting another job.
From: Andrew (Jun 18 2020, at 03:26)
Thank you for speaking out about these issues. However, I find it alarming that you make no mention of Amazon's collaboration with the ICE and police. I wouldn't consider AWS to be "ethical" when it helps place people in concentration camps and helps racist police target black people and suppress dissent. Any comments on this?
From: Justine (Aug 06 2020, at 08:23)
Tim you are my hero.
I was sacked by Amazon in a chickenshit move - however I take that as a badge of honour now. Seems if you get fired or quit, you must be one of the good guys :)
Thanks for having the balls to stand up to the weird culty business model they have created. And for speaking out about why.
I salute you!
Justine Clare (formerly of AWS Cambridge Amazon employee)