Salesforce Employees Petition CEO Marc Benioff Over Contracts With Border Authorities
In a petition reported by Buzzfeed, over 650 Salesforce (CRM) employees decried work that the firm is carrying out for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The contracts cover human resources software as well as tools for border-activities management and citizen engagement.
“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 reexamine our contractual relationship with CBP and speak out against its practices,” the petition, addressed to CEO Marc Benioff, reportedly read. It continued:
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. Those values often feel abstract, and it is easier to uphold them when they are not being tested. They are being tested now.
A Salesforce spokesperson told Buzzfeed that the company is “proud of our employees for being passionate and vocal, and will continue the conversation on this and other important matters.”
President Trump last week signed an executive order to end the separation policy—something he had previously claimed he was unable to do—but the process of returning children to their parents may take some time, due to poor record-keeping.
The Salesforce employees said they were also opposed to the current policy, which sees migrant children detained with their families.
Large companies, particularly those in the tech world, have recently seen a lot of employee pushback over contracts that workers found to be morally objectionable. Google notably decided not to renew a Pentagon contract involving artificial intelligence software for analyzing drone footage, after employees argued the technology could be used to mark people for death.