Amazon Delivers Ultimatum to Remote Workers as Layoffs Continue

(Eli Pacheco, Headline USA) Amazon on Friday informed employees that they might not get promotions if they don’t return to the office according to mandates imposed in May, CNBC reported.

The e-commerce giant requires employees to report to the office at least three times each week. Some staff have resisted the policy, which led to Amazon doubling down on it with the announcement about promotions.

Amazon posted about the policy on its internal website.

“Managers own the promotion process, which means it is their responsibility to support your growth through regular conversations and stretch assignments, and to complete all the required inputs for a promotion,” one post read. “If your role is expected to work from the office 3+ days a week and you are not in compliance, your manager will be made aware and VP approval will be required.”

Employees at the Seattle headquarters walked off the job in May after the first mandate announcement. They also protested layoffs that began in 2022 and have impacted 27,000 workers.

After an internal petition to CEO Andy Jassy to ease those requirements didn’t have an effect, some workers resigned. At the time, Amazon also required some workers who previously worked remotely to move out of state to work in central office hubs.

The company has changed its tune several times since lockdowns in 2020.

After the pandemic began, Amazon adopted an “office-centric culture.” Then, it gave more flexibility to workers as some companies eased remote policies. In May, Jassy said a return to office mandates would help company culture and collaboration.

The latest remote work change came as Amazon cut hundreds of jobs in its Alexa division. Alexa is Amazon’s virtual assistant technology, part of its devices and services unit. Many have already lost their jobs.

Daniel Rausch, Amazon’s vice president of Alexa and Fire TV, informed workers of layoffs on Friday.

“As we continue to invent, we’re shifting some of our efforts to better align with our business priorities, and what we know matters most to customers—which includes maximizing our resources and efforts focused on generative AI,” Rausch wrote in the memo.

Amazon employs 350,000 workers in its corporate ranks. Before the mandate, managers could determine staff office attendance for their departments.

Amazon considers remote work case-by-case for special circumstances.