Amazon Web Services VP Tim Bray resigns over worker firings

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AMAZON. A visitor checks in at the Amazon corporate headquarters on June 16, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. File photo by David Ryder/Getty Images/AFP

MANILA, Philippines – Tim Bray, a senior engineer and vice president at Amazon announced on Monday, May 4, that he had resigned from his position at Amazon, effective May 1.

Bray, who had been with Amazon for nearly 6 years, cited the firings of employees who had organized protests against Amazon as a reason for his resignation. Bray said he tried to go through the proper channels to make his concerns known before ultimately resigning from his post.

Bray explained, "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."

He added, "That done, remaining an Amazon VP would have meant, in effect, signing off on actions I despised. So I resigned."

In his post, Bray noted "a vein of toxicity running through the company culture."

Contrasting the treatment of warehouse workers with that of people at Amazon Web Services (AWS), where he worked, he said AWS workers had more power, allowing for more ethical treatment.

"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," he explained.

"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," said Bray.

"Any plausible solution has to start with increasing their collective strength." –

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