Published: Sun, September 09, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Bernie Sanders introduces the BEZOS Act, targets Amazon and others

Bernie Sanders introduces the BEZOS Act, targets Amazon and others

Anecdotes shared by current and former Amazon employees corroborate these findings.

The Senate bill would require large employers such as Amazon and Walmart to pay the government for food stamps, public housing and other federal assistance received by their workers.

Amazon has pushed back on claims made by Sanders in recent weeks, saying the senator made "inaccurate and misleading" accusations against the company.

Sanders has been hammering on Amazon as the poster child of corporate welfare. If, for example, an employee receives $200 in food assistance, Amazon would be taxed $200 to cover those costs.

"The wealthiest person in the world is advertising jobs that pay workers wages that are so low that they have to go on public assistance and be subsidized by the middle class of this country", said Sanders in a statement. That amounts to the kind of corporate welfare the Vermont senator says costs USA taxpayers billions of dollars a year.

Vermont Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders has unveiled his new "Stop BEZOS" Act, a pointed jab at the Amazon CEO, which ostensibly aims to entirely eliminate one kind of corporate welfare in the US.

"They have identified an absolutely valid target, which is companies that pay well below a living wage to employees who need precisely that", Bernstein said.

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He argued that Amazon's average pay, at $28,446, is 9 percent less than the industry standard and well below a livable wage.

For the objective of the bill, large employers are defined as those with more than 500 workers - including independent contractors and franchise workers.

The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) stated previously that "Amazon workers suffer injuries, and sometimes lost their lives, in a work environment with a relentless demand to fill orders and close monitoring of employee actions". "It's not hard to imagine that employers would be wary of hiring someone who they think - rightly or wrongly - would invoke the tax".

The bill comes a week after Amazon responded to Sanders' constant barrage of income inequality attacks on the online retailer.

"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.

"Workers who receive these benefits would thus become thousands of dollars more expensive to employ than other workers who are paid the same wage but don't qualify for these benefits", Greenstein said.

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