In an ABC interview, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez faulted Amazon—owned by billionaire Jeff Bezos—for its wage rates.
Amazon has facilities in Nevada both north and south.
Ocasio-Cortez argued that wages paid by Amazon contributed to Bezos’ estimated $117 billion fortune.
She told anchor Jonathan Karl if Bezos’ fortune is “predicated on paying people starvation wages and stripping them of the ability to access health care,” that is a public policy problem.
Bezos did not respond. The corporation issued a statement:
“These allegations are absurd. Amazon associates receive industry-leading pay starting at $15 an hour. … Amazon pre-pays 95% of continuing education tuition costs through its Career Choice program for associates who want to pursue in-demand careers.”
The corporation also posted a tweet: “@AOC is just wrong. Amazon is a leader on pay at $15 min wage + full benefits from day one. We also lobby to raise federal min wage.”
Reader comments were posted under the tweet. Samples:
“I work for Amazon in one of $15/hr jobs and I have to say we are in constant battle to finding shifts, benefits, and pay! Our job what we do for customer care is worth more than what Amazon earns and I think a $15/hr+3% commission would make it more sensible.”
“For packing boxes?”
“And? Amazon makes billions just because we buy shit. Either way, packing boxes is honest work.”
“They should stop requiring taxpayers to pay for their warehouses and to pay their employees. I have nothing against welfare, when needed, but Billionaires getting hundreds of millions in corporate welfare is ridiculous!”
An Amazon facility in Washoe County was subsidized by a four-year state business tax abatement valued at $408,100, according to Good Jobs First, which monitors corporate welfare. The abatement was designed to attract 600 jobs paying $17 an hour.