Published: Sun, September 09, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Retaliatory Posts Made Back-and-Forth Between Sanders and Amazon

Retaliatory Posts Made Back-and-Forth Between Sanders and Amazon

But Amazon pays thousands of its workers wages "so low that they must rely on food stamps, Medicaid or public housing in order to survive", Sanders said in an online briefing to announce the measure, called the "Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies (BEZOS) Act".

Sanders has criticized Amazon for months because of the reports that Amazon warehouse workers are paid less than the industry average and rely on food stamps while the CEO Jeff Bezos holds the status of being one of the wealthiest men in the world with a net worth of more than $168 billion. Anecdotes shared by current and former Amazon employees corroborate these findings.

But he made it personal with the not so subtle dig by naming the bill acronym after Amazon boss Jeff Bezos. Sanders; accusing the left-wing lawmaker of "misleading" the public over their working conditions and wages.

On Wednesday, the Vermont independent and 2020 presidential contender introduced a bill that proposes taxing big companies for the federal benefits their low-wage employees use to make ends meet. Essentially companies would have to reimburse the federal government for the cost of federal assistance programs like food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing.

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"In other words, the taxpayers of this country would no longer be subsidizing the wealthiest people in this country who are paying their workers inadequate wages", Sanders said during a press conference about the bill. Earlier this year, Amazon said in a government filing that its median salary is $28,446 - a figure, Amazon said, that include the compensation for part-time employees. The only publicly-traded USA company valued higher is Apple, with a market cap of $1.1 trillion. Rep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat, introduced similar legislation in the House a year ago. While Amazon plans to bring more than 1,500 full-time jobs to the Spokane fulfillment center, there will also be a need to potentially double that during the peak holiday shipping season.

Under the bill, the likes of Amazon and Walmart Inc. The requirement would apply to any company with more than 500 workers.

Amazon posted on Wednesday the positive responses that several employees sent to Sanders and shared with the company. "It's not hard to imagine that employers would be wary of hiring someone who they think - rightly or wrongly - would invoke the tax".

"There was a point where I would find myself crying on my shift", Seth King, who served eight years in the Navy, says in a July video about his experiences in a fulfillment center.

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