Insist on the highest standards of oppression to our families. I am an engineer at Amazon: 2017-present.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 position 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 glossy box.
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 with 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 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. This is simply because Amazon policies do not prohibit such oppression.
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 speak about oppression 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 position, 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
As Jeff said, it is always Day 1.
Next day of protest