Monday, February 18, 2019

02/18/2019. Presidents Day - no Public protest today

Happy Presidents' Day!
No protest today. I know Amazon disrespect this holiday and Amazonians work today. But I will not.
Next day of protest

Sunday, February 17, 2019

02/17/2019. I am not attacking, I am defending. Demanding to change Amazon policies

Another weekend. Sunday gives time to take a shower and prepare for upcoming strike.
Looking forward to act tomorrow.

People tell me: "Why do you need this attack? What are you starting this war for?"
Well, I do not advise anyone to misrepresent the intentions.
I don't attack. I didn't start the war. I am defending myself. I was attacked. The war has been started against me.
I lost the most valuable things - honor, civil rights, dignity.
I will not give up until I get everything back.
Ok let's go.
It is enough. Enough pain, enough fascism and genocide. If we will not stop them, they will go further. I would like Amazon to change inhuman policies.
To stop oppression, discrimination, mockery and humiliation the company should:
  • Remove leadership principle "Insist on highest standards". Leaders have relentlessly high standards, so high that many people may think these standards are unreasonably high if they harm health, lives of employees and their relatives. Leaders are continually raising the bar and driving their teams to deliver high quality products, services and processes, so parents can't see children, relatives are dying not saying good bye last time. Leaders ensure that defects do not get sent down the line and that problems are fixed so they stay fixed because it is more important than simple humanity. This leadership principle is official approval for oppression of employees families as much as managers can.
  • Remove leadership principle "Are Right, A Lot". Leaders are right a lot. They have strong judgment and good instincts. In fact this sounds like "Managers are right a lot". If I disagree with my manager and complain, I am retaliated. Manager is always "right a lot". Respectfully I know a lot of nice and smart engineers and managers in Amazon. But respectfully average Amazon manager is much less qualified then analogue from say Google. Amazon manager usually is qualified neither with technical nor with managing skills. Thus, we finally have: Stupid are right a lot. Then it is not a surprise that stupid are right in oppression, are right in discrimination, are right in their stupidity.
  • Remove leadership principle "Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit". Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. The reason for removal here is the same as for principle "Are Right, A Lot". It is lie to say that both manager and employee have the same equal rights applying this principle.
  • Implement HR policy against discrimination based on the association with disabled person. Employees having disabled children and relatives should not be discriminated. This is a federal law: Americans with Disabilities Act 42 U.S. Code § 12112 (b)(4). Many horrible examples are described in well-cited NYT article. For example Amazon employee was disciplined because her father was was dying. Amazon promised multiple times to change its policies but they lied. HR policy still allows to all the managers such type of discrimination. It is not toxic people, it is toxic culture.
  • Stop prohibiting free speech at the "pivot appeal" procedure. This is a fake "court" created by the company to show visibility of justice against terminated and poor-performing employees. Famous Bloomberg article calls it "Kangaroo court". The most interesting thing is HR prohibits to employees tell about discrimination, mockery, hostility and retaliation of their manager during this appeal. So, this "court" judges can't see the real reasons of the conflicts between the manager and subordinate.
  • Implement HR policy against retaliation for taking leave to take care for sick children/dependents. Retaliation is illegal under both federal and state laws. But it is allowed by Amazon policy.
  • Change policies about HR investigations of complaints made by employees. As at now, Amazon employee almost has no chance if he complains about his manager. HR makes a visibility of investigation to tell later in the court: "we did what we can". HR protects company from employees, HR does not protect employees. Investigation mostly results in nothing. Then, often immediately after investigation employee meets retaliation by manager and termination. Investigation is performed solely by HR specialist. In the beginning of the investigation, this HR says something like "I am independent, I am a part of the separate Employee Relationship department". In fact this Human Bullshiting department is part of HR and subordinates to HR head. There is no independence. To be fair, investigation should be performed in a way of "pivot appeal" without restriction of free speech: employee should have a chance to speak about discrimination and hostility of the manager, present evidence and get justice from independent randomly chosen colleagues.
  • Inform employees of all levels and all badge colors whether working for Amazon or for vendors about changed policies. Make it necessary for blue badge managers to pass the training about new policies.
  • Implement HR policy against punishing employees for filing feedback about supervisor in Amazon Connect or any other system. Implement HR policy making Amazon Connect reports about the manager not visible to the next 3 management levels up of this manager.
  • Abandon shameful program for manipulating public opinion in social networks. It is disrespectful to any information consumer who thinks he has a right to know the true. It is a fundamental First Amendment right. If Amazonian sends referral for Amazon job to his friend, Amazon asks him for a post on social network: they think only happy employees can send referrals, they don't ask unhappy employees for social networks posts. Amazon reputation is the direct result of its oppression policies. To change reputation, they should change the policies. They can't change reputation paying for posts in social networks.
Next day of protest

Saturday, February 16, 2019

02/16/2019. Horror in fulfillment centers

Today is Saturday, happy day. Happy me, happy Amazon: not a working day, not a protesting day.
Just one note about motivation. One smart guy told long time ago: "There is a major reason to protest. You are doing this not for others. You are doing that not because you will be accountable to others. You are doing that because if you don't, you will be accountable to yourself".

I met and spoke with a lot of people during these days. They approached me and told to me their stories at Amazon. They told my problem is not a problem at all. In comparison with for example  what is happening in the fulfillment centers. It is proud for me to stay there with the banner. I admit my life is worthy if I could change just 1% of this horror by staying here. I will stay here weeks, months and years if needed. This is the most proud job for me.

How many children are left without parents? How many dying parents are not allowed to see children working for Amazon? How many injured workers are kicked out without honor?
Jeff Bezos is the richest guy in the world. His children do not suffer. They are not disabled. Jeff Bezos is not prohibited to see his parents. I am proud to speak out about this.
Representative-elect Ilhan Omar speaks during a rally at the Amazon fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minnesota.
Photo and another story by Guardian
Next day of protest

Friday, February 15, 2019

02/15/2019. Protest at Whole Foods

I am late today. It is noon now and I am half an hour away yet.
But today it will be incredible day. I am going to Whole foods store at Denny way. If Spheres s a heart of Amazon, Whole foods is its stomach. This store is always full of people and engineers. God bless me.
I found one thing. I feel myself more mature than I was 2 weeks ago. I grow much on side of spiritually. This is a great experience - to fight my fear. I am glad I am doing that not only for Amazon and Bezos but for myself also.
One bad thing - first guy approached me and I wanted to give him a leaflet. But all the papers became wet due to rain yesterday. Today I don't distribute my story...
PS: Spheres is not the heart of Amazon. It is balls of Amazon.
The sweetest of today: Chinese guys approached me and gave me bunch of bananas. Now I know how to survive in case I would be out of money.
Next day of protest

Thursday, February 14, 2019

02/14/2019. Protest at Van Horst under the rain

Happy Saint Valentine's day!
1 pm, lunch time and I am here again, near of Van Horst Amazon building. One current Amazon engineer approached me and supported. Good start.

Under the rain applied super duper innovation: foldable chair + umbrella:

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

02/13/2019. Protest at Gatsby

9:30 am. I am in between of Van Horst and Gatsby Amazon buildings.

To be honest, in the morning I was feeling myself really weak and tired. But then I searched on YouTube keywords "Amazon employees". YouTube returns 99% of videos are about oppression, abuse and hostility. I watched few of them and there is no weakness anymore. There are really a lot of people suffering much more than me.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

02/12/2019. Protest at spheres

11 am, I am on the position! Sidewalk of Amazon spheres.

I was thinking I am afraid of people. But then I realized: in fact people are afraid of me. Now I feel I am more powerful and more free than anybody else. Amazon employees are restricted in their freedoms: they are forced to spend most time of their lives to do the work they hate. They are restricted to speak.
I am free to speak and Jeff Bezos with all his billions can't close my mouth and can't prevent me from walking on the street with my banner.
I like that. Like a student who lost virginity. I mean, well, you know.

02/11/2019. Snow storm: no protest today

Went to doctor, laundry and then... snow came back.

Lucky Jeff, lucky me today. No need to freeze my ass at the street. Protest is cancelled.

But beware of tomorrow.
Until then, Merry Christmas to all!
I don't share protest video today but I can't refuse to share this beauty:

Next day of protest

Sunday, February 10, 2019

02/10/2019. Jeff Bezos calls it extortion

That sucks: libraries seems to be are closed again due to snow storm. There is no storm anymore in Seattle but snow is still here. Seattle should be renamed to Alaska-attle.

If I don't find printer today, tomorrow nobody will know about horrors of Mr Bezos.
How can I do leafleting without printer?
Where are all these librarians?!!!!!!
Maybe I am not the best engineer or entrepreneur. And for sure I am not the best yes-man for Bezos to be one of his Amabots. But there is something good I will do in my life. I will stop persecution, oppression and genocide of family members of other Amazon employees who suffer. If I need to stay at the square 5 years 5 days a week I will do it. If I need to perform hunger strike I will. I have no job and my time is free.

My boss will tell I am the worst engineer in the world. You know what? Partially I agree with him. I have done mistakes. Like any of us. But I am not the worst. Even not the worst in our team.
Moreover. Even if I would be the worst engineer in the world, this does not give a right to my boss to violate the law. This does not give him a right for oppression of my family. You don't like my work? Then why didn't you fire me during 2 years?

Last week Jeff Bezos again tried to fight the freedom of speech. He accused media in extortion.
I am laughing. Mr Bezos committed extortion last 15 years towards his employees. How can he accuse somebody else?
How extortion to employees works:
1. Employee becomes a slave by salary and immigration benefits
2. Employer commits oppression, discrimination and hostile environment towards the employee and his family to make him work harder. Amazon prevents treatment of employee relatives and United Nations classifies this activity as a mental torture.
3. Employee cannot quit because of losing immigration benefits resulting in up to deportation from the country.
For me, it is a clear extortion. Hidden statement is: we will terminate you and you will use everything if you complain of stop working. Thus, we ask you to work hard and sustain our tortures.

Btw - got to library. The one near of UW was open even during the "storm"... How can you call this nice Christmas snow a "storm"? I thought the storm is when Dorothy flies in her house through the sky... In Russia we have such storm 9 months a year with a temperature of -22 F.
Anyway I printed almost 300 sheets of true about Amazon. Tomorrow 300 Amazonians will know the True. Jeff, I am coming.

Next day of protest

Saturday, February 9, 2019

02/09/2019. Why policies of Amazon are unlawful

No protest for today and tomorrow. Saturday and Sunday are weekends for most of Amazonians yet. Thus, I can take a rest also.
Due to winter storm, library is closed. Will try to get there tomorrow, I need to print a lo-o-t of leaflets. On Monday will give them to all the Spheres an Doppler patrons.
Can't print them at Amazon office because they suspended my badge. Amazon management is prudent.
My manager blamed me I don't comply with Amazon principle "Insist on the Highest Standards". Well, he can think that. But now I am sure I comply with the principle "Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit": Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly.
They can argue citing last words: Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly. Why didn't I commit? I ask: decision taken by whom? If my manager and his managers all the way till Bezos support oppression, should I respect their opinion?

Then the only authority here is God. I say: Once a decision is determined BY GOD, I commit wholly. But God didn't ask me to stop protesting yet.

02/08/2019. Protest at Spheres

I stayed near of Amazon Spheres 9 am - noon. Got tripod in Goodwill and bungee cords. This helps a lot because it is really hard to hold banner on my neck for hours. Now I am prepared.
At noon, snow storm started. Then I finished picketing and got warm at Whole Foods.
Plan to return on Monday either earlier morning or afternoon.
What is great: another engineers approach me and ask the story behind the banner. Many of them are engineers. Everybody supports and nobody argues. I expected discussion but met understanding.
One guy told he worked 5 years as an engineer here and quit because it is enough oppression for him. But he said, my story means I am lucky and I did not suffer as much as others. That is because I don't know about the real horror in the fulfillment centers of Amazon.
Security of Amazon are friendly and polite. Nobody kicks me out because I am at public sidewalk and absolutely legal.

City of Seattle and local police ensured I don't need any permit for my protest because I don't block any driveway. I can stay here as much as I want, they said. First Amendment works well.

Next day of protest

02/07/2019. Start protesting. Generating courage

“The future depends on what you do today.”

― Mahatma Gandhi
To be honest, in the morning fear of public shame almost caused symptoms of bed wetting.
But Deadpool told me how to manage this fear.

Ok let's go

My friends made these photos, thanks a lot to them. There are some videos also. I will upload them later, when Internet becomes better. Good idea is to make a documentary short movie about that. YouTube is full of short videos mentioning Amazon. But there is nothing like no 1 or 2 hours movie. I heard some guys are working on that but no result yet.

There was not a lot of people on the street

Thank to my friend who made video. Sorry, I will rotate it later.

And my beautiful back...
Spoke with other engineers

Next day of protest

02/06/2019. Banner for protest is a trouble

There are 2 most difficult parts in the rally:
- to get courage to start
- to make a banner
Courage is easier. Few YouTube videos about Martin Luther King, AC/DC song "Thunderstruck" and I am ready to fight.

Banner is the real trouble. In the past, I performed rally against dictator from my home country with simple marker board. But that was for 1 hour. Now I realize I need something more reliable because I will stay here weeks, months, years.
Following advises from YouTube, I got peace of fabric from Hobby Lobby, paint and furniture spray. Then 2 plastic pipes in Home Depot. Then I spent all the day on the floor in the local library with homeless people creating this piece of art. Yes it has historical value now. No, I will never do this again.
Next time I will pay few bucks to order online with same day delivery high quality waterproof super duper factory-made banner.
Next day of protest

Public protest against Amazon


Bro! I am calling you Bro even if we don’t know each other. This is because both of us could work for Amazon. That means both of us suffer from fascism culture of Amazon. You might not agree with me. If you like your company and happy with your job, you are lucky. But don’t lose discretion. In 2017 I got job offer for software engineer in Amazon and was happy like you. Nice company, nice salary, nice team members. At that time, I didn’t assume the horror hidden inside of the glossybox.
I didn’t hear about NYT article describing how Amazon persecutes employees because of their association with disabled and dying relatives. I didn’t know the Internet is full of stories of that kind. To somehow improve its reputation, Amazon manipulates public opinion on the Internet! Amazon pays to its employees for posts in social networks! Don’t believe? Google it!
My name is Oleg Churyumov. In 2017, I left a negative feedback about my manager Uwais Khan in the daily “Amazon Connect” survey. Amazon Connect team sent to me the report showing how my manager can calculate my answer. At our 1:1 meeting, Khan prohibited me to leave feedback in the system. Since then oppression started.
Khan asked me to work on weekends. Then he asked HR how to prevent me from immigration benefits (not informing me about that).
Every Amazon engineer is entitled with internal transfer opportunity. I realized this can be the only way to stay in the company and avoid oppression. I asked Khan about internal transfer to another team in NY. Khan said, I can do that as soon as my wife finds job there. My wife spent 3 months on hard search and interviews. She got a job offer in NY, signed new lease there and moved with one of our children. I informed Khan about that and he said he changed his opinion. He forced me to stay in Seattle with my second child. Khan made me single parent.
Amazon sponsored my working EB3 visa. This allowed me to apply for residency in US simultaneously with my another non-stable immigration status. I could not quit job immediately, because then I would lose application for this visa. Engineers call this “working visa slavery”. Amazon knows employees will not strike oppression. Because “at will” job contract allows immediate termination with no reason. Most of Amazon engineers are immigrants who lose immigration H1B status once they are terminated. Many IT companies provide immigration sponsorship. However, none of them is so impudent like Amazon to use this for oppression.
My 3 yo daughter has a development delay and I need to bring her to therapy. For that, I asked Khan for work from home once a week like everybody else in our team. Khan prohibited me to work from home. Moreover, he asked me to come to office at 7 am and sit there alone. All the other team members came to office at 11 am and worked from home without restrictions. And their children were not disabled.
One day my daughter became seriously sick. Violating Khan’s prohibitions, I took 2 days leave to take care of her. Khan punished me for that. He sent email listing missed work during these days as a my fault.
In April of 2018 I got nice Forte performance review. Next month I complained to HR about tortures by Khan. I didn’t know, employees say on Internet that Amazon HR does not to protect employees. Amazon HR protects company from employees. HR specialist Edwin Mwango performed investigation and confirmed most of the facts I spoke about. However, Mwango said Khan didn’t violate Amazon policies.
Immediately after HR investigation, Khan retaliated and placed me on “pivot” (termination procedure). During the pivot, I chose “appeal” option to speak in front of independent random employees. HR responsible for appeal at pivot was Annalisa Perez. Perez prohibited me to tell about tortures and retaliation during the appeal. This proves that “pivot” is a fiction to create a visibility of justice. In fact, there is no justice in Amazon. If employee files lawsuit, Amazon says: “During the appeal at pivot another independent employees confirmed the termination. There is no bias of his manager” However, Amazon does not say that appellant is prohibited to at appeal. Pivot appeal is a fake.
I complained to current HRBP Andrew Berg, Khan’s supervisor Joe Resudek and even Jeff Bezos. Same month, Resudek announced Khan is promoted. Berg met with me and Khan and laughed at my words. As I expected, Bezos never responded. Amazon blocked me access to its buildings.
You can say: “What can you change? You are alone, weak and poor. Amazon is big and strong, Jeff Bezos is a billionaire.” I have an answer. Amazon is a big and fat behemoth. It is getting fatter because it has no natural enemies. It has a lot of fat but it has no strong skeleton. It is a castle made of sand. There is a huge labor turnover. Nobody works here for idea, mission or something apart from money or immigration status. Everybody pretends he shares Amazon principles.
There are weapons against behemoths. These weapons are true and civil rights. We need to remember name of our region: King County of Washington state. I am sure Martin Luther King and George Washington heard many times “You can't do that”. As well as Mahatma Gandhi.
You can say: “Ok, but what do you want?”. I have an answer. I want Bezos to stop lying about his “zero tolerance” to the oppression. Or he should start implementing this “zero tolerance”. I want Amazon to change its policies and procedures. I want every Amazon engineer and other employees who meet such oppression to know: they are not alone. One day other guy will say: “No”. And then another guy. And then another. Bezos can't hide the true behind his billions indefinitely. He can’t buy everybody with all his money.
I don't know when it happens. Maybe 1 year. Maybe more. But I have plenty of time. I will stay here until the end. It is a pleasure for me to make a small input to fight against oppression.
One Amazon employee said when her father was dying, her boss told “you are the problem” and prevented her from visiting the father. Another Amazon employee saw his unborn child died during pregnancy when he was under oppression by his manager. There are a lot of cases like that. Amazon is built on blood.
Hero of famous movie was right. When I will be 80 yo dying in warm bed I will remember tens of years I spent at work making Bezos richer. Would I exchange all these years for just one chance? One chance to stay here and tell to Bezos: “Your billions don't give you a right to kill our children”.
If you don’t agree with me or think I am an idiot that’s ok. I am glad you and your family don’t suffer. And I hope they will not. But you are welcome to come to me and talk. Ask any questions. Tell me your experience, argue and say I am not right. I will be glad to talk to you regardless of your support, provide any explanations and evidence.
Every working day I will stay in front of one of Amazon buildings in Seattle with a banner for few hours. I will do this indefinitely. If you want to locate me, text to my Facebook (Oleg Churyumov).
God bless you
Next day of protest