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Amazon response to Bernie Sanders shows Amazon cares about repuation



Bernie SandersBernie Sanders has repeatedly criticized Amazon.Getty/Alex Edelman

  • Amazon has published a response to Sen. Bernie Sanders in a blog post on its website.
  • Sanders has repeatedly criticized Amazon, using it as an example of the abuses of capitalism. Amazon called Sanders’ claims “inaccurate and misleading” in the post.
  • A direct response from Amazon is rare, and may be a big sign that Amazon is trying to repair some of the damage done to its reputation in the last months.

Amazon has just fired back at one of its most vocal critics.

The retailer has published a blog post on its website titled “Response to Senator Sanders,” calling Sen. Bernie Sanders claims about the company “inaccurate and misleading.”

The post, which is published on the Day One company blog, goes on to tout its pay and benefits, as well as working conditions in its warehouses, which are areas that Sanders has repeatedly criticized.

Sanders makes a frequent example of Amazon, using high profile media stories describing poor and strenuous working conditions and pay that Sanders asserts forces employees to be on food stamps, or what is now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Tweets from his account frequently portray Amazon as the biggest villain of capitalism, and they often refer to the company’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who as the richest man in the world has been criticized for giving relatively little away in the name of philanthropy. A frequent theme is Bezos’ extreme wealth compared to the relatively little that Amazon’s lowest-paid workers make.

“While Jeff Bezos’ wealth has increased $260 million every single day this year, he continues to pay many Amazon employees wages so low that they’re forced to depend on taxpayer-funded programs such as food stamps, Medicaid and public housing to survive,” Sanders tweeted on Friday.

Sanders announced on Friday he would be introducing legislation to the US Senate on September 5 that would impose a 100% tax on companies with more than 500 employees and workers employees on public assistance, according to The Post. For example, if an employee draws $100 from food stamps, that money would be taxed from that individual’s employer.

Amazon has previously tweeted back at Sander’ social media posts, inviting the senator to visit a fulfillment center, but has never gone to the lengths it went to on Wednesday to defend itself.

Amazon’s response to the claims about workers on food stamps, which are derived from news stories citing data from states, is “misleading because they include people who only worked for Amazon for a short period of time and/or chose to work part-time — both of these groups would almost certainly qualify for SNAP.”

Amazon went on to boast about its benefit and payment programs for its warehouse workers.

“Amazon is proud to have created over 130,000 new jobs last year alone. In the U.S., the average hourly wage for a full-time associate in our fulfillment centers, including cash, stock, and incentive bonuses, is over $15/hour before overtime,” the blog reads. “We encourage anyone to compare our pay and benefits to other retailers.”

The stern and strenuous response to Sanders underscores one of the most recent endeavors Amazon has engaged in: trying to improve its reputation, which has taken a hit in recent years for the reasons Sanders numerates.

The response to Sanders is also hot off the heels of other reputation management initiatives, like the new program on Twitter, where Amazon turns its warehouse workers into ‘ambassadors’ who say nice things about the company online and engage in dialogue with average Twitter users who disparage Amazon’s pay or working conditions.

Taking both of these initiatives together, its clear Amazon is making strides to try and clear its name, and is no longer content to sit back and watch as it is criticized by prominent figures.

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