Photo by kodomut (CC BY 2.0)

A former employee of the behemoth online retailer is set to go on a hunger strike Tuesday outside of its Seattle headquarters in an attempt to force the company to change certain of its “deceptive and fraudulent” business practices.

Kivin Varghese wants the company to add three items to its 14 leadership principles: better treatment of employees, an improvement in ethical standards and making “decisions that are better for our environment.” He plans to drink only water during his protest.

The Guardian reports:

Kivin Varghese plans to start his vigil on Tuesday outside Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle in order to raise awareness of what he alleges are poor business practices and employee treatment by the company.

“I think if Amazon customers took a few minutes to look at this and see how Amazon treats employees they’d be shocked,” he said. “My goal with stepping it up with a hunger protest is really to drive more awareness of their practices and really what happens when people buy from Amazon. Every dollar that is spent at Amazon is going to fund this bad behaviour.”

Varghese is in the midst of a court case with the company, in which he claims wrongful discharge after he worked on an advertising platform for Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet. Amazon has called for the claims to be dismissed, stating in court documents that Varghese was an “underperforming employee who had a difference of opinion with his employer”.

Varghese is asking customers to boycott Amazon on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two of the biggest shopping days of the year. He also wants workers to strike or take sick days in protest of their conditions.

“What I’m really trying to accomplish is a much more thorough and accountable effort to get Amazon to pay attention to employee treatment,” he said. “Not only employee treatment in Seattle but more importantly employees who are toiling away at these fulfillment and cost centres across the country.”

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface.  We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig