It seems as though Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) knows how to get the attention of a major corporation.
"At a time of exploding profits, I would hope that Amazon would pay everyone who works in your fulfillment centers a living wage." —Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)After the release of a video earlier in the day (see below) in which Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) chided Amazon and its mega-billionaire founder and CEO Jeff Bezos as exemplifying the kind of gross inequality that must be addressed in order to un-rig the economy, the retail giant put out a statement defending itself against the charge it does too little for its workers and issued an invitation for the senator to visit one of its fulfillment centers.
"We've created over 130K new full-time jobs in the last year alone," the company declared in a tweet. "Good jobs w/highly competitive pay & full benefits. Avg hourly wage in the U.S. for a full-time associate in our fulfillment centers, including cash, stock, & incentive bonuses, is over $15/hour. Competitive pay + full benefits -- health, vision/dental, retirement, generous parental leave, & training for in-demand jobs through our Career Choice program. Please compare our median pay & benefits to other retailers. We'd be happy for you to come see an FC for yourself."
In response, Sanders issued a statement thanking the company for reaching out and said he would gladly visit one of its centers as soon as it could be arranged.
"I remain deeply concerned about Amazon, an enormously profitable corporation, paying workers wages that are so low that they are forced to depend on federal programs like Medicaid, food stamps and public housing for survival," Sanders said.
"At a time of exploding profits," he continued, "I would hope that Amazon would pay everyone who works in your fulfillment centers a living wage. Thank you very much for your invitation to visit a fulfillment center. I look forward to doing that. Let's work out a mutually convenient time."
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Calling out the Grand Canyon-sized chasm between the wealth of average Amazon employees and that of Jeff Bezos, the company's founder and currently the single richest person on Earth, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Tuesday released a short video from his digital team which characterized this kind of vast inequality as epitomizing what the senator has long called the "rigged economy."
"Bezos' wealth increases by $275 million every single day," Sanders note in a tweet. "Meanwhile, Amazon workers have to rely on food stamps and public assistance just to survive. This is what a rigged economy is all about."
Last month, The Intercept reported on federal data that showed many Amazon workers qualify for federal assistance programs, including food stamps, while Bloomberg's "Billionaire List" currently estimates Bezos' net worth at approximately $132 billion.
Watch the video:
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' wealth increases by $275 million every single day. Meanwhile, Amazon workers have to rely on food stamps and public assistance just to survive. This is what a rigged economy is all about. pic.twitter.com/Ty7ECxvOkl— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) May 22, 2018
How long is this short video? Exactly 5 minutes and 42 seconds. But don't worry, in the time it takes you to watch it, Bezos "will have made over $1 million."