To: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Amazon: Hold your contractor, SIS, accountable to their workers

Amazon, hold your contractor Security Industry Specialists accountable, to ensure they treat their workers fairly and equitably.

Why is this important?

Dear Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos,

We are Amazon employees and other members of Seattle's tech community. We stand with the SIS security officers who protect Amazon’s campus, and we support their fight for a fair and equitable work environment.

As high-wage technical workers, we produce much of the visible innovation and value that has driven our industry. However, the crucial contributions of service workers in our industries—including janitors, warehouse workers, security officers, and others—are overlooked and undervalued. Without their contributions, we—and our companies—could not function.

That is why we insist that these workers receive fair treatment and that they, like us, have the opportunity to hold ownership over their work in accordance with Amazon's leadership principles [1]. We reject a narrow definition of "tech worker," one that divides not only by skill level and pay grade, but also by gender, race, and religion. We instead declare our affinity with all workers in our industry, both those employed by our companies and by subcontractors, as fellow tech workers. We all contribute to the health and success of this company and we all should be treated with dignity.

A large number of SIS officers are Muslim, and have requested designated prayer spaces to use during their work breaks to in order to practice their faith. Their efforts finally paid off [2]: the Seattle Globalist reports that SIS has allowed guards’ use of designated prayer rooms during their breaks.

However, we’ve heard about Islamophobic comments from SIS management, including during Ramadan, when security officers overheard an SIS supervisor saying "[you] aren’t going to get the breaks you normally get... if you’re mad, don’t blame us, blame the Muslims." Especially during the current national climate of rising anti-Muslim bias and hate crimes, it's important that we fight any instances of discrimination—just as Amazon, and we as a tech community, stood to oppose the Trump administration's multiple Muslim travel bans.

While we applaud the victory for prayer spaces as a move in the direction of justice, we believe Amazon must hold SIS accountable; discriminatory behavior should not have occurred in the first place, and workers’ requests for fair treatment should have been resolved in a more timely and urgent way.

The treatment of Muslim workers is not the only issue SIS officers face. Many have reported not receiving cost of living raises in more than four years [3], and those who have spoken up about unfair labor practices have experienced retaliation and threats of termination [4]. This is unacceptable, and we are calling on Amazon to create a fair path for officers to form a union, if that is their wish. We believe a worker union would provide a much-needed mechanism to resolve workplace problems. And we know an equitable, fair, and safe working environment greatly contributes to our companies' success.

When we can all count on basic essential benefits and workplace protections, we will be able to join our efforts to provide even greater value to our industry. In standing with Amazon's leadership principles, we ask that you respond to SIS workers, and our community, to discuss the appropriate remedies to this situation.

Signed,

Amazon employees and members of Seattle’s tech community

[1] https://www.amazon.jobs/principles
[2] http://www.seattleglobalist.com/2017/05/17/amazon-prayer-rooms-available-muslim-security-contractors-protests/65470
[3] http://standforsecurity.org/2017/04/06/more-than-a-hundred-security-officers-and-supporters-march-through-downtown-seattle-to-demand-amazon-hold-service-contractor-security-industry-specialists-accountable/
[4] https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2017/05/03/25123247/security-officers-claim-employer-retaliated-against-them-for-may-day-speech-about-amazon-working-conditions


Reasons for signing

  • Every worker should be treated fairly.
  • A rich company like Amazon needs to share the love. Its the right thing to do!
  • Because every worker should be treated with dignity!

Updates

2017-08-21 11:31:37 -0400

Check out this press coverage of a campaign event held in Seattle: http://www.thestranger.com/slog/2017/08/18/25362799/tech-workers-join-calls-for-amazon-to-improve-working-conditions-for-security-guards

2017-06-06 18:08:59 -0400

1,000 signatures reached

2017-06-06 11:44:14 -0400

500 signatures reached

2017-05-25 14:09:21 -0400

100 signatures reached

2017-05-25 10:01:57 -0400

50 signatures reached

2017-05-23 19:49:27 -0400

25 signatures reached

2017-05-23 16:47:11 -0400

10 signatures reached