Amazon and Bernie Sanders at it again: Sanders introduces 'Stop BEZOS Act'

  • Amazon and Bernie Sanders at it again: Sanders introduces 'Stop BEZOS Act'

Amazon and Bernie Sanders at it again: Sanders introduces 'Stop BEZOS Act'

"I think it is fair to say the American people are exhausted of having to subsidize the wealthiest people in this country who are paying wages that are just so low that people can't get by", Sanders said at a press conference. "Our legislation gives large, profitable employers a choice: Pay workers a living wage, or pay for the public assistance programs their low-wage employees are forced to depend on".

In a tweet about the bill, Sanders stressed that he still thinks the government "has a moral responsibility to provide for the vulnerable". -California, on Wednesday proposed legislation that would impose a 100 percent tax on companies equal to the amount of federal benefits received by their employees.

In response to Sanders' request for Amazon workers' stories of hardship, Amazon Senior Vice President Dave Clark also encouraged workers to share their stories to help clarify the truth about working conditions at the company.

The Walton clan that owns Walmart is the nation's wealthiest family, with a net worth of almost $175 billion.

The bill's name is a dig at Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos and stands for "Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies Act".

"We do not believe that taxpayers should have to expend huge sums of money subsidizing profitable corporations owned by some of the wealthiest people in this country".

Amazon, however, called Sanders' assertions "inaccurate and misleading" in a blog post last week. The median Amazon worker, meanwhile, was paid $28,446 a year ago, according to company filings.

An activist dressed as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos joins a protest gathering outside the Axel Springer building on April 24, 2018, in Berlin, Germany. The company argues it spends money to "upskill" its employees and notes that Sanders has not toured any of its fulfillment centers despite an open offer to do so.

The bill would create powerful incentives for employers to shy away from hiring low-income workers, who are more likely to qualify for Medicaid, food stamps or housing assistance, said a report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Other large companies mentioned as reasons for the bill included Walmart, which "pays its associates wages so low that many of them are forced to rely on food stamps, Medicaid and public housing to survive at a cost to US taxpayers of an estimated $6.2 billion a year", Sanders' office said.

Denise Bennett, a former Amazon worker in Tennessee, said she made $11 an hour as a full-time employee but had to rely on SNAP benefits to make ends meet. "Amazon is proud to have created over 130,000 new jobs past year alone", Amazon said.

Business Insider contacted Amazon for comment on the bill.