400 politicians worldwide press Jeff Bezos to raise wages, pay more taxes

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Jeff Bezos has been put on notice by 400 politicians worldwide who are demanding that Amazon clean up its act as a global corporate citizen.

In a letter to Amazon’s 56-year-old chief executive — the world’s richest man with a net worth of $185 billion — the leaders say the world “knows that Amazon can afford to pay its workers, its environmental cost and its taxes,” but that the company has “dodged and dismissed [its] debts to workers, societies and the planet,” according to a report in The Independent.

Among the signatories to the letter are US congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib and the vice president of the European Parliament, Heidi Hautala, as well as a number of parliament members from the United Kingdom and leaders from Turkey, France and Greece.

They point out that Bezos’ wealth has increased dramatically during the pandemic as consumers stock up on essential items and turn to online shopping in greater numbers than ever before to avoid getting COVID-19.

They want Amazon to raise its workers pay in all warehouses, to commit to zero emissions by 2030 — claiming that Amazon’s carbon footprint is “greater than two-thirds of the world’s countries” — and ensure transparency over the privacy and use of its customers’ data.

Amazon’s employees, “enter dangerous working conditions, enjoy little or not increase in their pay, and face retaliation for their efforts to defenc themselves and organize their colleagues,” the letter states, according to the report.

The politicians also take aim at Amazon’s tax contributions.

“Through global tax dodging, you damage the public provision of health, education, housing, social security and infrastructure,” the letter states according to the report.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a query for comment, but in a statement to The Independent it 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.” 

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