Blue Origin employees accuse company of mismanaging harassment allegations

A letter signed by 21 current and former Blue Origin employees from Jeff Bezos accuses the company of mismanaging harassment allegations and raises questions about its culture.

The big picture: Blue Origin is trying to compete with SpaceX and others for lucrative government contracts, but it faces employee attrition rates of up to 20%, according to a CNBC report.

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Driving the news: Blue Origin launched Bezos and three others into the suborbital space in July.

  • The mission was successful, but the letter’s authors say the company is “lucky” that it did not experience a major accident due to a culture of overwork within the company.

  • “This culture has also taken a toll on the mental health of many people who make Blue Origin’s operations possible,” the letter said.

  • “The senior management ratings reveal a desire to push employees to their limits, stating that the company should ‘get the most out of our people’ and that employees should see it as a ‘privilege to be part of the company. story “.”

What to watch: The safety of private spaceflight companies is expected to receive more scrutiny from the FAA in the coming years, also putting corporate culture under a microscope.

  • Right now, companies like Blue Origin fly under an “informed consent” regime where passengers are made aware of the risks when flying in space, but the FAA is not allowed to regulate for their safety.

  • That could change if Congress chooses to allow the administration to begin more tightly regulating the industry.

  • “I think what we have brought to light shows that the current voluntary framework is not being respected,” Alexandra Abrams, former employee communications manager at Blue Origin, and one of the authors of the review, told me. letter.

What they say : “Blue Origin has no tolerance for discrimination or harassment of any kind. We provide many opportunities for employees, including an anonymous 24/7 hotline, and we will promptly investigate any new misconduct complaints, ”a company spokesperson told The Verge.

Go further: Blue Origin’s ideas for emulating SpaceX seem pretty brutal for employees (The edge)

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