'Momazonians' press Amazon for backup daycare benefits

A group of more than 1,800 working mothers at Amazon calling themselves the “Momazonians” are pushing the ecommerce giant to provide a backup daycare benefit.

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The women are set to meet with senior managers at Amazon to argue the company should provide daycare options for its employees who require childcare assistances during school closures or illnesses, Bloomberg reported. The “Momazonians” argue that a lack of backup daycare options can stunt the career growth of female employees and make it more difficult – and expensive – for Amazon to fill positions through recruitment.

“Everyone wants to act really tough and pretend they don’t have human needs,” former Amazon employee Kristi Coulter told Bloomberg. “You don’t want to be the one to step forward and say ‘I’m a mom with kids and I may not be as single-mindedly devoted to my career as everyone else.’ They're all trying to assimilate to this male-dominated culture.”

In a statement, Amazon said it provides “valuable, competitive benefits to our over 250,000 U.S. employees,” including flexible paternity leave and other policies for working parents. However, unlike other tech leaders such as Microsoft, Apple and Google parent Alphabet, Amazon does not offer backup day care benefits, either on-site or at home.

“We provide comprehensive fertility benefits, memberships and discounts for childcare services, and flexible parental leave programs that provide birth parents up to 20 weeks of paid leave and non-birth parents up to six weeks of parental leave,” the company said in a statement. “At Amazon, everyone, regardless of their position, level or tenure, has access to the same benefits – there are no tiers, and no employee is more important than another.

“When creating benefits, we focus on efforts that can scale to help the largest number of individuals, and work in partnership with our employees to ensure that what we are building offers meaningful support,” the company added.

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This isn’t the first time that Amazon’s employees have challenged the company on internal policies. A group of workers pressed Amazon to stop working with government agencies on facial recognition software last year.