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  • Marijan Hassan - Tech Journalist

Senior developer at AWS claims the company is engaging in silent sacking

A senior developer at Amazon Web Services (AWS) has brought forward allegations of a "silent sacking" campaign within the tech giant, aimed at covertly reducing workforce numbers while avoiding negative press in the aftermath of widespread layoffs.

In a recent blog post, Justin Garrison, who spent four years at AWS, outlined his claims, shedding light on deteriorating workplace conditions and the consistent reshuffling of development teams as passive strategies employed by companies to subtly encourage employees to resign.

These allegations prompt significant inquiries into the management practices of major tech firms, particularly during times of hiring freezes and industry-wide layoffs.

The concept of weaponizing workplace conditions to induce employees to quit, colloquially known as "quiet firing" or "silent sacking," has become a term in the corporate sphere in recent years. This strategy, it is suggested, is utilized by companies seeking to minimize press coverage of layoffs to prevent negative repercussions on shareholders.

Justin Garrison's revelations at AWS underscore broader concerns about the treatment of employees in the technology sector, raising questions about the ethical considerations surrounding workforce management strategies.

Ironically, it wouldn’t be the first time we are hearing about silent firing in a major tech company.

Meta, for instance, has faced accusations of covertly reducing staff under the guise of departmental reorganization, providing employees only a brief window to reapply for alternative roles.

Will Larcombe, co-founder and director of business management consultancy Stellarmann, highlighted the economic pressure on firms to trim their workforce, leading to increased demand for contract or temporary teams. He emphasized that "silent sacking" affects highly skilled and high-paid employees, particularly software engineers, who may feel stuck in limbo due to unclear project goals.

Larcombe noted that inadequate project clarity can result in skilled individuals being quietly let go when contracts expire, taking crucial project knowledge with them. This is often a consequence of poorly defined goals in technology or transformation initiatives.

As large tech firms navigate economic challenges and shifts in industry dynamics, transparency and fair treatment of employees become critical factors in maintaining a positive corporate image.

The allegations against AWS highlight the need for ongoing scrutiny and discussion around the practices employed by tech industry leaders in managing their workforce amidst evolving market conditions.


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