Sanders criticizes Amazon’s working conditions, pay

Photo courtesy of the Department of Defense | defended itself from accusations that it does not pay its workers a living wage from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Sanders stated that thousands were forced to rely on food stamps and subsidized housing. 

Senator Bernie Sanders and Amazon recently exchanged press releases regarding the working conditions of the company.

Amazon disputed repeated claims by Sanders that “thousands of his (Jeff Bezos’s) Amazon employees have been forced to depend on taxpayer-funded programs such as food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing to survive.”

Amazon claimed it was purposefully misleading. “Senator Sanders continues to spread misleading statements about pay and benefits. Amazon is proud to have created over 130,000 new jobs last year alone,” the statement read. It isn’t the first time that Amazon has been criticized for its working conditions.

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.”

Seven workers have been killed in Amazon warehouses since 2013, according to The Dirty Dozen 2018 report by National COSH.

Amazon, however, has maintained that its proud of its working environments and uphold the highest standards of safety.

Amazon also maintains that with incentives, stock options and bonuses that the average pay before overtime is more than $15/hour.

When asked what she thought of the press releases, Student Veterans of Xavier President Samantha Estes said “I think it’s very important to have regulations on companies like that (Amazon)… When companies get too big like that…their employees are the ones who tend to suffer.”

Amazon has 3000 full-time employees at its local facility in Hebron, Kentucky.

By: Devin Luginbill | Guest Writer