by Elizabeth C. Tippett

from The Conversation 

It has somehow become sort of normal to use the workplace to protest social issues unrelated to the job itself. This was something almost unheard of even five years ago.

Liz Tippett

The latest example came on Sept. 20 as more than 1,000 Amazon employees staged a walkout over the retailer’s “inaction” on climate change. In recent months, there has also been unrest among Walmart employees over gun sales and protests by Google and Microsoft workers over military use of their software. And of course, there’s Colin Kaepernick and other professional athletes who used the field – a football player’s office – to protest racialized police violence.

The workplace used to be the very last place you would want to bring attention to social issues, however important. That’s because the office or factory isn’t a democracy where activism is protected. To a workplace scholar like me, what’s really interesting is how employees are increasingly willing to undertake this risky form of protest – and how employers are adapting.
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