Two weeks ago, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella addressed employees at a nationwide protest,media reported. While Mr. Nadella’s remarks were some comforting to some, mr. Nadella’s remarks appeared to have led other employees to seek to urge the company to take a more aggressive stance, including ending contracts with law enforcement agencies in light of recent protests.
According to OneZero, a recent letter to Nadella and Executive Vice President Kurt DelBene began circulating across Microsoft. The letter, which has about 250 signatures, calls for the company to cancel its contract with the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and other law enforcement agencies, condemn the use of tear gas, formally support the Black Lives Matter campaign, and demand the resignation of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan in light of the excessive use of force by police during peaceful protests in the area.
The letter was originally circulated by Microsoft’s FTE Facebook group, which also discussed pay inequality within the company in 2019, and the co-authors revealed their experiences of participating in protests.
Tear gas flowed into the apartment through cracks in the wall a mile away. For most of the week- and last night, the sound of flashbombs and tear gas canisters reverberated through the night, even between 2 and 3 a.m. To make matters worse, the fear and stress these employees are facing, exacerbated by SPD’s escalating response. “
While much of the letter was inflammatory in response to unrest in Greater Seattle and washington, there were some COVID-19-related requirements, and employees wanted the company to make formal commitments, including relaxing performance reviews and formally implementing a four-day-a-week work schedule during the outbreak.
Media believe that Microsoft may let the current events play its part and, before taking any further direct action, uphold its previously stated commitment to contribute an additional $1.5 million to the police reform initiative and the cause of racial equality.