Amazon finally issues response to Bernie Sanders, blasting him for 'inaccurate and misleading' claims about how the retail giant treats workers

Amazon finally issues response to Bernie Sanders, blasting him for 'inaccurate and misleading' claims about how the retail giant treats workers
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders recently announced a new plan to require corporations pay for employees' federal assistance, a move the progressive lawmaker said would force companies to pay a livable wage.

  • Sanders has made special example of Amazon, claiming the company's employees do not receive enough pay and are forced to live on support from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps.

  • Amazon fired back at Sanders on Wednesday, calling the claims "inaccurate and misleading."

  • Amazon said Sanders was referring to a small subset of Amazon workers that chose part-time work and that employees revived adequate benefits and pay.

Amazon on Wednesday fired back at Sen. Bernie Sanders after months of attacks from the progressive lawmaker on the retail giant's working conditions and pay.

"Senator Sanders continues to make inaccurate and misleading accusations against Amazon," the company said in a statement.

Sanders, a former 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, recently announced a plan that would require companies to pay for the federal assistance received by their employees. He singled out Amazon and CEO Jeff Bezos as a primary example.

In a statement Friday, the senator said putting large corporations on the hook for workers' benefits would force companies to pay a "livable wage" to employees.

"While Mr. Bezos is worth $155 billion and while his wealth has increased $260 million every single day this year, he continues to pay many Amazon employees wages that are so low that they are forced to depend on taxpayer funded programs such as food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing just to get by," Sanders said.

Workers at large companies like Amazon, McDonald's, Walmart, and others receive $150 million in federal aid, Sanders said.

A petition that implored Bezos to "pay your workers a living wage and improve working conditions at Amazon warehouses " received more than 105,000 signatures as of Friday, according to Sanders' office.

Sanders' move comes after a series of high-profile media reports about the working conditions of Amazon warehouse employees. The senator has also launched attacks against the company for months, even holding a town hall with an Amazon employee to highlight pay and benefits grievances.

Amazon strongly denied Sanders' claims, saying all employees received competitive pay and solid benefits. The company took particular issue with the senator's suggestion that many employees were on "food stamps."

"Senator Sanders’ references to SNAP, which hasn’t been called 'food stamps' for several years, are also misleading because they include people who only worked for Amazon for a short period of time and/or chose to work part-time — both of these groups would almost certainly qualify for SNAP," Amazon said.

The retailer also said that while Sanders "plays politics and makes misleading accusations," the company was investing in new job-training programs for workers and improving benefits like paid family leave.

In addition to written response, Amazon invited Sanders to tour one of the company's fulfillment centers and urged employees to write to the senator about their experience working at the retailer.

This is not the first time Amazon has become entangled in politics this year. President Donald Trump also waged a war of words against the company and Bezos in March and April, calling for antitrust investigations and questioning the company's relationship with the US Postal Service.

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