As Election Day 2020 draws closer, there is a noticeable upsurge of Americans who have expressed their desire to vote to make a difference. In fact, several companies in the United States have already made some adjustments in preparation for the polls. Twitter, Walmart, and Starbucks confirmed that their employees will be provided additional paid time off. On the other hand, those working for Amazon have reportedly signed a petition that calls for something similar.
According to a statement shared by the group that leads the petition, Amazon "currently requires workers to use vacation time to vote (if they have it) or gives the bare minimum time off as required by individual state laws." NBC News reports that over 1,500 workers expressed their intent to support the call for additional paid time off in just an hour after the petition was launched Tuesday morning.
It purportedly grew to 3,243 later that day as more employees confirmed their support via the internal ticketing system. The platform is originally used by Amazon's workers to submit work-related requests. Furthermore, it also doubles as a channel to call for changes to company guidelines and more.
"We are less than a month away from the 2020 U.S. election. I strongly urge the company to provide the entire US employee workforce with a paid day/shift off that can be used anytime between now and Election Day on Nov 3," reads the petition. "This additional day/shift off must be available to all employees every year."
Meanwhile, a representative for Amazon offered an explanation as to how employees were already informed of the procedures on how to request for time off ahead of the November 2020 polls. The petition was organised by a group of tech workers who – in 2018 – banded together to form Amazon Employees for Climate Justice.
Originally, the group called for changes that would reduce Amazon's fossil fuel emissions. In 2020, their cause grew to include complaints related to the working conditions for those assigned to the online retail group's warehouse amid the health crisis. Due to the pandemic, analysts believe voters will have a long day before them as some states have limited the number of voting sites.