May 5, 2020 at 8:02 AM EDT – Updated May 5 at 8:08 AM
(AP/CNN) — An Amazon executive said he quit his job at the online-retail giant to protest the firing of employees who spoke up about the conditions inside the company’s warehouses and its record on climate change.
Tim Bray, a vice president at the company, wrote in a blog post that he left his job last week “in dismay” after Amazon fired several workers who publicly criticized the company.
“I quit in dismay at Amazon firing whistleblowers who were making noise about warehouse employees frightened of Covid-19,” he wrote.
He said the firings were “evidence of a vein of toxicity running through the company culture.”
Amazon argued that they support their employees’ right to criticize. They said they fired some of the employees for violating social distancing guidelines and others for violating internal policies.
Among those fired was a New York warehouse worker who led a strike last month, pushing Amazon for more protections for workers against the new coronavirus. At the time, Amazon said the worker was fired for not obeying social-distancing rules.
Bray, who said he worked at Amazon’s cloud business for more that five years, said he brought up the firings internally at the company.
“That done, remaining an Amazon VP would have meant, in effect, signing off on actions I despised,” he wrote. “So I resigned.”
In his post, Bray noted that all of the employees fired were minorities or women.
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