Amazon‘s consumer boss took a swipe at Sen. Bernie Sanders for planning a visit to Alabama, where a ancient union election is within the intervening time underway at one among the firm’s warehouses.
Dave Clark, CEO of Amazon’s worldwide consumer enterprise, fired off a series of tweets late Wednesday and Thursday morning, defending the firm’s labor practices and taking jabs at the unbiased senator from Vermont over the controversy round elevating the federal minimum wage.
On Friday, Sanders, rapper Killer Mike and actor Danny Glover are attach to fulfill with Bessemer, Alabama Amazon workers who are within the system of balloting whether or no longer to affix the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). The assembly will pick popularity at a RWDSU union hall in Birmingham, Alabama. Workers began balloting by mail on Feb. 8 and ballots are due by Monday. Counting will starting up the following day.
“I welcome [Sanders] to Birmingham and take care of his push for a progressive popularity of labor,” Clark wrote in a tweet on Wednesday. “I in most cases screech we are the Bernie Sanders of employers, nonetheless that’s no longer pretty honest because we undoubtedly bring a progressive popularity of labor.”
Clark then doubled down on Thursday, arguing that the minimum wage in Sanders’ dwelling bid of Vermont is $11.75 an hour, whereas starting up pay for Amazon workers is $15 per hour.
In a commentary, RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum known as Clark’s statements “arrogant and tone deaf.”
He added that he questions whether or no longer Amazon believes “that the wage they pay — which is under what workers in nearby unionized warehouses catch and under Alabama’s median wage — offers them the honest to mistreat and dehumanize their workers, effect their workers’ health and security in jeopardy, require them to withhold an insufferable gallop, which even Amazon itself admits that a quarter of their crew acquired’t be ready to fulfill, and to snort working men and girls folks the glory and appreciate they deserve.
“If the working conditions were so gigantic, Amazon effect no longer bear such an awfully excessive turnover fee of over 100 percent a year at its facilities,” Appelbaum persisted.
Amazon and a pair of of its executives bear beforehand taken jabs at Sanders, who is a frequent Amazon critic. Following criticism from Sanders and other labor advocates, Amazon in 2018 offered it might elevate its minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Additionally, closing week, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos became down an invitation from Sanders to appear in entrance of the Senate Budget Committee for a listening to on earnings inequality. Sanders, who is chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, also invited Jennifer Bates, a worker from the Bessemer warehouse where the union election is taking popularity, to testify.
Amazon has played protection as give a enhance to for the union force has ramped up from President Joe Biden and lawmakers on both aspect of the aisle. In recent weeks, the firm has most often responded to critics of its labor practices on Twitter and it has promoted its $15-an-hour minimum wage in print and digital ads.
Labor leaders and lawmakers bear seized on the election for its doable to kickstart identical movements at other corporations and in other industries. Some Amazon workers in other corners of the nation are hoping that the union force can be triumphant so as that they’ll ignite give a enhance to to put together their very delight in workplaces.
Amazon has beforehand acknowledged it respects workers’ honest to affix a union, nonetheless also that its workers impact no longer desire a union to close aid between them and the firm. It has held needed meetings with workers stating the case towards unionizing and attach up a net popularity urging workers to “carry out it without dues.”