Bernie Sanders asks Amazon employees to detail their working conditions

Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is inviting Amazon employees to share their experiences working for the online retail giant. 

“Amazon is one of the wealthiest corporations in the world, and its owner, Jeff Bezos, is the richest man on the planet, worth over $155 billion,” Sanders said in a statement posted to his website.

{mosads}”Despite this, Bezos continues to pay many thousands of his 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 to survive.”

He has invited current and former Amazon employees to fill out a form on his website sharing their experiences.

“Have you used public assistance, such as food stamps, Medicaid or subsidized housing, in order to make ends meet?” the form asks. “Did you struggle with the demanding working conditions at Amazon? Please share your story below.” 

“We encourage anyone to compare our pay and benefits to other retailers,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement to The Hill.

“Amazon is proud to have created over 130,000 new jobs last year alone. These are good jobs with highly competitive pay and full benefits.”

Sanders has previously slammed Amazon and Jeff Bezos as part of a “rigged economy” that disenfranchises workers. 

The Vermont senator, an outspoken critic of large corporations, specifically called out Amazon following reports that some workers claimed they received unlivable wages and worked in unsanitary conditions

In a letter to Bezos in June, Sanders shared stories his staff had heard from struggling Amazon employees. 

“My staff have spoken with Amazon workers who are homeless, who are hungry, who are suffering and in pain,” Sanders wrote. “The people you employ who spend 10 or more hours a night running, bending, lifting, and packing up our new electronic gadgets, baby clothes, dog treats and kitchen appliances — many of these workers struggle to pay their rent, put food on the table, send their kids to college or afford their medical bills.” 

Sanders is reportedly planning to introduce legislation that would require large corporations such as Amazon, Walmart and McDonald’s to cover the costs of food stamps, public housing and other federal assistance programs for their employees, the Post reported

Recent studies have found that a disproportionate amount of Amazon employees are on food stamps. 

A recent report found that nearly 1 in 3 Amazon employees in Arizona in 2017 was on food stamps or lived with someone who was, Business Insider reported

In Pennsylvania, 1 in 10 Amazon employees was reportedly on food stamps. 

An Amazon spokesperson in a statement to the Post disputed the claims, stating they are “misleading because they include people who only worked for Amazon for a short period of time and/or who chose to work part-time.”

Updated at 2:12 p.m.

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