Amazon Takes Heat for Chicken and Waffles Juneteenth Celebration at Chicago Warehouse

Amazon warehouse workers in Chicago expressed outrage at a flyer advertising a chicken and waffles event to commemorate Juneteenth, a celebration of the end of slavery in the U.S.

An employee published a photo of the "insulting" flyer in a private Facebook group and CNBC obtained the image.

"We stand in solidarity honoring the black community by supporting local black businesses," the flyer says. "We are happy to share an authentic meal crafted by Chicago's Chicken + Waffles."

Some employees said Amazon should have made June 19 a companywide holiday to support black workers, as other tech companies like Twitter and Uber have.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos encouraged employees to reschedule meetings and "take some time to reflect, learn and support each other" on Juneteenth rather than canceling work altogether. Bezos said Amazon would offer "a range of online learning opportunities" throughout the day in an email to employees.

An Amazon spokesperson said that "the leader who put on this event had good intentions to honor Juneteenth by supporting a local small business owned by a member of the Black community."

"After receiving some feedback from team members at the site, they've since decided to remove the sign in question," the spokesperson said. The choice of restaurant and flyer were made by diverse local leadership, according to Amazon.

Bezos has been publishing messages of solidarity with the protestors to social media, including his responses to customers who are angry with Amazon's support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

But critics say the rhetoric doesn't always square with Amazon's policies. The ACLU and others are demanding Amazon stop developing products that aid in law enforcement. Amazon announced it will stop selling facial recognition technology to police for one year, but the company's Ring subsidiary continues to work closely with police departments across the country.

This story first appeared on GeekWire

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Fred Turner, the 25-year-old founder of Curative Inc., is the man behind L.A.'s push to bring universal testing to the region. But, he has bigger plans.

Turner, an Oxford dropout, just landed a deal with the Air Force to test military worldwide and he's now eyeing national expansion for his startup. By the end of this month, the company he started months ago is expected to pump out more than a million test kits a week.

"We are a strange company because our goal is to essentially put ourselves out of business," Turner said.

Read more Show less

Industrial conglomerate Honeywell International snapped up the rights to produce, advertise and sell Long Beach-based Dimer's anti-viral UV-C light machine, the GermFalcon, in a licensing partnership agreement announced on Wednesday.

Created by Elliot Kreitenberg and his father, orthopedic surgeon Arthur Kreitnberg, in their garage seven years ago, the GermFalcon can sanitize a midsize airplane cabin full of germs in about 10 minutes and is being billed as an antidote in the age of COVID-19.

Read more Show less