Amazon recently responded to Alexandria Ocasio-Corteze’s earlier claim that they pay “starvation wages” to their workers in a tweet which claims that they pay a $15 minimum along with full benefits from day one.
“AOC is just wrong,” they asserted in a tweet on Monday, also pointing out that they are lobbying to raise the federal minimum wage.
Ocasio-Cortez has criticized Amazon on Twitter and in interviews on multiple occasions, and her Sunday interview for ABC was particularly scathing. She stated that Jeff Bezos’s “being a billionaire is predicated on paying people starvation wages and stripping them of their ability to access health care,” adding that she doesn’t care whether Bezos is a millionaire or not, and that “his ability to be a billionaire is predicated on the fact that his workers are taking food stamps.”
Amazon’s senior vice president of global corporate affairs, Jay Carney, also responded in a tweet, saying that Amazon workers get top-tier benefits, get paid more than 42% of Americans, and that AOC should focus on raising the federal minimum wage instead of going after Amazon.
AOC was quick to respond, and replied to Amazon’s tweets several hours later: “If a person is working 40h/week & is paid so little that they need gov help to make ends meet, it’s not the person that’s a weight on our system – it’s the company,” she said. “People need to be paid a living wage. We stand up to co’s that rely on food stamps to make up for their low wages.”
She also responded to Amazon’s claim that they pay a $15 minimum “since day one,” pointing out that Amazon’s Ohio employees had to resort to food stamps and that paying employees so little that they need to apply for government assistance just to feed themselves is the definition of “starvation wages.”
It’s also interesting to note that Amazon only increased their minimum wage to $15 in November last year, after facing heavy criticism for their pay disparity.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s spokesperson, Cobin Trent, also made a statement: “Amazon built a nearly trillion-dollar company on the backs of the American people,” he claimed. “They have a business model that relies on the American taxpayer. Amazon has made billions using our roads, bridges, postal service, airports, and internet – all built with the tax dollars of hardworking Americans. You would think a company that relies so heavily on taxpayer innovations would be more willing to contribute to our society, but you’d be wrong. Amazon pays zero federal income tax, has extorted our cities and states for tax breaks and their employees often rely on government subsidies to get by. It is time for Amazon to do right by their employees. It is time for Amazon to do right by the American people.”