Leading Democrats demand from Amazon boss Bezos: Change the business practices / lifestyle of the super rich in the public eye

Leading Democrats demand from Amazon boss Bezos: Change the business practices / lifestyle of the super rich in the public eye

14. Februar 2020 0 Von Horst Buchwald

Leading Democrats demand from Amazon boss Bezos: Change the business practices / lifestyle of the super rich in the public eye

New York, February 14, 2020

In a public letter, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and 13 other democratic US senators call on Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos: Change business practices, otherwise ….. The politicians criticize above all the profit-all-culture. That had to be changed. In addition, Amazon should publish records of serious accidents at work in his company.

„Amazon’s pitiful safety record suggests that people are more concerned with profits than with the safety and health of their workers,“ the letter said.

It also contains references to poor security records from Amazon’s warehouse network. There, there are above-average injury rates for the warehouse industry. These rates were originally published in an article in the Reveal group of the Center for Investigative Reporting published in November in the magazine „Atlantik“.

The letter comes at a time when politicians, activists, and some of Amazon’s own employees are critical of the pace and working conditions within Amazon’s warehouse and delivery network. Criticism increased as Amazon expanded its reach to so many aspects of American life. The Bezos company rules from online retail to entertainment to the delivery of food and prescription drugs.

Meanwhile, Bezos has become the richest man in the world. Therefore, as well as because of the strict regime in Amazon’s check-in halls, he became a target for Warren and Sanders. They present him and his wealth as an example of capitalism that went wrong.

Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Cheeseman tried to relativize the attacks by the Democrats: „Nothing is more important to us than the safety and well-being of our employees,“ she confirmed. And she pointed out that OSHA (the „Occupational Safety and Health Administration“ is a US federal agency tasked with enforcing the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act) said on record that injury reporting was an industry-wide problem. Companies would do this to keep their quota low. A former deputy secretary for OSHA estimated that 50 percent or more of the serious injuries were not reported.

The spokeswoman emphasizes: “Amazon does the opposite; we take an aggressive stance to record injuries, no matter how big or small. The invitation remains open to each of the senators to take a tour. Last year, over 300,000 people visited an Amazon fulfillment center and were able to „learn the facts firsthand“.

The letter contained seven other requests. One was „to reduce quotas and the pace of work for workers“. Another urged Amazon to „no longer view toilet breaks as a ‚hobby‘ ‚because of allegations that some Amazon workers had to relieve themselves in bottles so that their performance did not suffer.

The senators demand an answer by February 21.

However, Jay Carney, head of Amazon’s communications and politics department, had earlier in the New York Times earlier in an article that the company’s critics should recognize that „Amazon does many good things – for business and for business for American workers „. As an example, Carney cited Amazon’s move to raise the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour in 2018, and the Career Choice program, which „pre-pays up to 95 percent of tuition and fees – making it almost free for employees, to learn new skills „.

However, he did not provide information on the safety of workers in Amazon’s operations.

Sophisticated lifestyle

Meanwhile, Bezo’s wealth and lifestyle are increasingly in the spotlight. According to a Bloomberg report, the Amazon chief sold 2 million shares of $ 4.1 billion between January 31 and February 6, „as part of a pre-agreed trading plan,“ the news agency said Experts point out that this extremely short processing time was the „fastest seven-day sell-off by a manager“ tracked by the Bloomberg billionaires index that started in 2012. „

According to the experts, this action is probably related to the divorce of the CEO. The divorce was negotiated in the state of Washington. Because MacKenzie Bezos and Jeff Bezos lived there. According to the legal situation there, all assets and debts acquired during a marriage are fairly divided by the court if the couple has not negotiated an agreement. With news of the stock showing that Jeff Bezos has retained 75% of the couple’s stake in Amazon, Washington Post and the rocket company Blue Origin, the $ 4.1 billion raised should be the cash equivalent for the Represent portion that MacKenzie was in.

Insiders pointed out that the 56-year-old Bezos had many other issues. This includes $ 1 billion a year in support from Blue Origin. But no effect on his incomparable and sophisticated lifestyle is visible. Because those just over $ 4 billion represented just less than 4% of its stake in Amazon. The total assets are currently about $ 116 billion.