Amazon counters accusations from United States Senator Bernie Sanders

E-commerce behemoth Amazon issued a rare public response on Wednesday to U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, who claims that the company underpays its employees. In a statement released on Amazon's blog, the company dismissed Sanders' accusations as "inaccurate and misleading".


U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders provoked a rare political response from the e-commerce giant. Photo: - Reuters

"We have been in regular contact with his office and have offered several opportunities for Senator Sanders and his team to tour one of our fulfillment centers (FCs)," the company wrote. "Instead, Senator Sanders continues to spread misleading statements about pay and benefits."

On August 24, Sanders called out Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in a series of tweets, citing a Washington Post report that found "thousands" of Amazon employees rely on federal aid programs like food stamps, public housing and Medicaid. 

"New data shows one in three Amazon employees in Arizona are on food stamps," Sanders tweeted on August 27. "It is completely unacceptable that ordinary Americans should be subsidizing the wealthiest people in the world like Jeff Bezos when they pay their employees such inadequate wages." Sanders also invited Amazon employees to publically share their experiences of working at the company via Twitter.

The e-commerce giant wrote in response: "We are encouraging all employees to take Senator Sanders up on his request and respond with their actual experience... (Sanders’ form only asks for negative experiences ...but we hope he is also interested in positive ones)."

Later this month, Sanders plans to introduce new legislation to the United States Senate that would require large employers like Amazon to fully cover the cost of federal assistance programs used by their employees. If passed, this legislation would pressure the corporations to pay their employees a living wage, and bridle what Senator Sanders called "about $150 billion a year" in taxpayer money that goes to funding programs for low-wage workers. 

 

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