More than four hundred politicians from 34 countries are mounting pressure on the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, to increase workers wages and to pay more taxes.
In a letter, the concerned global politicians said the world knows that Amazon can afford to pay its workers, its taxes and its environmental costs, but that the company has dodged and dismissed its debts to workers, societies and the planet, according to a report in The Independent.
The politicians noted that Jeff Bezos, 56, has dramatically increased his wealth especially during the coronavirus pandemic as shoppers step up their online purchase.
They listed 25 “Common Demands” that they want Amazon to implement, which include; that Amazon should increase workers pay in all warehouses, pay more taxes, and commit to zero emissions by 2030. They claim that Amazon’s carbon footprint is “greater than two-thirds of the world’s countries”
“Through global tax dodging, you damage the public provision of health, education, housing, social security and infrastructure,” the letter states according to the report.
They also called on Amazon to ensure transparency over the privacy and use of its customers’ data.
Amazon’s employees, “enter dangerous working conditions, enjoy little or no increase in their pay, and face retaliation for their efforts to defend themselves and organize their colleagues,” the letter states, according to the report.
Those who signed the letter include the U.S congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, Vice president of the European Parliament, Heidi Hautala, and a number of parliament members from the United Kingdom. Others include leaders from Turkey, France, and Greece.
Amazon has recently been facing increasing criticisms, even from employees
“As the virus spikes, we get more and more orders, and Amazon expects us to work at inhumane rates, Courtenay Brown, an Amazon Fresh warehouse worker in New Jersey and leader with United for Respect, reportedly said. “The pace is blistering, and people get injured on the job a lot, people get sick, people are scared of catching COVID, and Amazon is not doing enough to protect our lives”, Brown added.
In a statement to The Independent, Amazon said;
“While as a large company we welcome scrutiny from policymakers, the matters raised in this letter stem from a series of misleading assertions by misinformed or self-interested groups who appear to be using Amazon’s profile to further their individual causes.”
“Amazon has a strong track record of supporting our employees, our customers, and our communities, including providing safe working conditions, competitive wages and great benefits, leading on climate change with the Climate Pledge commitment to be net zero carbon by 2040, and paying billions of pounds in taxes globally. We look forward to continued dialogue with interested parties on these topics.”
Bezos, the world’s richest man with a net worth of $187 billion as of December 3, 2020, is the founder of the Seattle-based company, Amazon – the world’s biggest online retailer,
Amazon sells books, household goods and other products through its website, amazon.com. It also controls the Whole Foods grocery chain and offers cloud computing and video streaming services. The tech giant reported a third-quarter 2020 profit of US$6.3 billion and revenue of US$96.1 billion.
Last week, Amazon announced $500 million in special holiday bonuses to front-line workers