650 employees at Salesforce have asked CEO Marc Benioff to “re-examine” the companies contract with US Customs and Border Protection. The request was made after Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy ripped more than 2,000 children away from their parents.
A letter, obtained by Buzzfeed, asks the company’s founder to consider the termination of the firm’s agreement with the U.S. government agency.
“Given the inhumane separation of children from their parents currently taking place at the border, we believe that our core value of Equality is at stake and that Salesforce should re-examine our contractual relationship with CBP and speak out against its practices,” the letter reads.
The Salesforce request joined a growing list of employee activism. Last week, employees at Amazon and Microsoft also sent letters asking their CEOs to end similar relationships with border patrol agencies.
This type of employee activism has been successful, as Mother Jones notes, similar protests at “Google resulted in the company deciding to not renew its contract providing the Pentagon with artificial intelligence to analyze drone footage.”
Salesforce currently provides the agency with Community Cloud, Service Cloud, and Einstein Analytics, an AI tool. The contract is lucrative, providing the company with millions of dollars in annual revenue.
Bloomberg explains that the “border agency is using that software to revamp its human resources capabilities, including accessing information about benefits and payroll. Salesforce’s Analytics tools help CBP with recruiting.”
“We cannot cede responsibility for the use of the technology we create—particularly when we have reason to believe that it is being used to aid practices so irreconcilable to our values,” the letter adds. “We want our work at Salesforce to have a positive impact on our friends and neighbors, not to make us complicit in the inhumane treatment of vulnerable people.”
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James Kosur is the former Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of Hill Reporter. He recently served as an editor for Business Insider and various other publications. James and his partners sold Hill Reporter to a new owner in July 2019.