Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Hundreds of Amazon workers are pushing the company to adopt tougher policies to reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change.

Why it matters: The employees are putting their names to their comments, posted on Medium, and the move defies Amazon's corporate policy.

The big picture: Employee activism at tech companies is on the rise, both at companies known for openness, like Google, as well as at companies that don't have a long tradition of worker action, like Amazon.

  • Many of the workers are calling on Amazon’s AWS unit to stop doing business with oil and gas companies. Increasingly those concerned with climate change have been pressuring not only oil and gas companies but those companies’ partners and suppliers.
  • Microsoft, for example, was praised for its announcement earlier this month that it was working to become carbon negative, but critics pointed out that its Azure Web Services unit was still doing business with oil and gas companies.

What they're saying:

  • Michael Sokolov, Amazon principal engineer: "Expecting its employees to maintain silence on these issues, and Amazon’s impact on them, is really a reprehensible overreach, and I am proud to take this opportunity to demonstrate my unwillingness to comply."
  • Amelia Graham-McCann, Amazon senior business analyst: “The science on climate change is clear. It is unconscionable for Amazon to continue helping the oil and gas industry extract fossil fuels while trying to silence employees who speak out.”
  • Jacob Hinton, Amazon software engineer: "Contributing to climate change, supporting ICE, and brutal labor conditions in the warehouses are great for the bottom line but awful for society."

Amazon's response, from a company spokesperson: "We founded the Climate Pledge, committing to net zero carbon by 2040, which is 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement. We plan to be using 100% renewable energy by 2030, and we have thousands of people working on sustainability initiatives across the company."

What's next: Amazon says, "We do enforce our external communications policy and will not allow employees to publicly disparage or misrepresent the company or the hard work of their colleagues who are developing solutions to these hard problems.”

Go deeper

Treasury blames lenders for PPP disclosure debacle

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The U.S. Treasury Department is pointing the finger at lenders for errors discovered in Monday's PPP data disclosure.

What they're saying: "Companies listed had their PPP applications entered into SBA’s Electronic Transmission (ETran) system by an approved PPP lender. If a lender did not cancel the loan in the ETran system, the loan is listed," a senior administration official said.

Updated 15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 11,863,477 — Total deaths: 544,949 — Total recoveries — 6,483,402Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 2,996,679 — Total deaths: 131,486 — Total recoveries: 936,476 — Total tested: 36,878,106Map.
  3. Public health: Deaths are rising in hotspots — Déjà vu sets in as testing issues rise and PPE dwindles.
  4. Travel: How the pandemic changed mobility habits, by state.
  5. Education: Harvard and MIT sue Trump administration over rule barring foreign students from online classes.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: A misinformation "infodemic" is here.
Updated 31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Harvard and MIT sue Trump administration over rule barring foreign students from online classes

A Harvard Law School graduate on campus before attending an online graduation ceremony on May 28. Photo: Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Harvard and MIT on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security to block federal guidance that would largely bar foreign college students from taking classes if their universities move classes entirely online in the fall.

The big picture: Colleges, which often rely heavily on tuition from international students, face a unique challenge to safely get students back to class during the coronavirus pandemic. Some elite institutions, like Harvard, have already made the decision to go virtual.