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Amazon workers upset over layoffs and return-to-office mandate plan walkout

SEATTLE (AP) — A group of Amazon workers who are upset about recent layoffs, a return-to-office mandate and the company's environmental impact is planning a walkout at its Seattle headquarters next week.

The lunchtime protest is planned for May 31, a week after Amazon's annual shareholder meeting and a month after a policy took effect requiring workers to return to the office three days per week, The Seattle Times reported. It's contingent on at least 1,000 Amazon employees from the company’s Seattle headquarters agreeing to participate.

The Washington Post first reported the plans.

"We respect our employees’ rights to express their opinions,” the company said in a statement.

Drew Herdener, senior vice president for communications at Amazon, said there has been a good energy on the company’s South Lake Union campus and at its other urban centers since more employees returned to the office.

Amazon has cut 27,000 jobs since November. The layoffs have affected workers in advertising, human resources, gaming, stores, devices and Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud computing division.

Amazon has also ended entire projects, including its health care endeavor, Amazon Care, and a philanthropic program, Amazon Smile.

Some employees have complained that Amazon has been slow to address its impact on climate change, and more than 20,000 workers signed a petition urging Amazon to reconsider the return-to-office mandate.