Amazon chairman and founder Jeff Bezos came under fire on social media after he thanked employees for paying for his space trip following his return on Earth.
What he said: Bezos made the comments after he returned from his brief flight to space on Tuesday in a rocket that was built by Blue Origin, his private space company. He thanked both customers and employees, saying that their purchases and work respectively, “paid for” his space expedition.
“I also want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for all of this,” Mr. Bezos said during a news conference after his spaceflight.
The backlash was swift. Critics pointed to reports that the company does not offer its employees enough breaks and that they have to forsake their breaks to meet rigid productivity metrics. There have also been allegations of unsafe working conditions and Amazon this year acknowledged earlier this year that its drivers sometimes have to urinate in water bottles.
Vice even published a story that included a photo of bottles purpotedly with urine in them.
An effort to unionize workers at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama also failed.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) responded with the hashtag #TaxTheRich.
Robert Reich, former secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton and a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, wrote that the company needs to “pay [workers] what they deserve.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) were also among the critics.https://twitter.com/itsafronomics/status/1417589819136413704
The Progressive Caucus suggested Bezon thank his workers by providing them with better health coverage, among other things.https://twitter.com/StephensforIN3/status/1417775354907746309
Worth noting: Amazon has pushed back against accusations that it fails to pay its taxes.
We pay every penny we owe. Congress designed tax laws to encourage companies to reinvest in the American economy. We have. .$200B in investments since 2011 & 300K US jobs. Assume VP Biden’s complaint is w/ the tax code, not Amazon,” Amazon tweeted in 2019, in response to criticism from the then-presidential candidate.
Meanwhile, Bezos gave CNN contributor Van Jones and celebrity chef José Andrés $100 million each to direct to the charities of their choice.
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