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Google and Amazon employees claim to face retribution for decrying corporate moves

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Photo: Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images

New incidents are highlighting deepening tensions between tech giants and worker activists as employees and former workers at Amazon, Google and other companies publicly decry corporate moves.

Why it matters: These companies are struggling to reconcile idealistic images and rosy reputations with the more hard-nosed tactics big companies frequently adopt to discourage protests and labor organizing.

Driving the news:

  • A group of Amazon workers urging improved climate policies says some of their members were threatened with being fired for speaking out, per Vox.
  • A former top international relations employee at Google, now a U.S. Senate candidate in Maine, blasted the company in a Medium essay and Washington Post interview. Other current and former Googlers told CNBC that last year marked a turning point in the closing of the company's once tolerant corporate culture.
  • At least five workers at Google filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board last month saying they were fired for what should have been protected activism. Google maintains the firings were based on violations of company policy.

Go deeper: Amazon and Big Tech can't escape climate pressure