Senate Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) invited Jeff Bezos to testify at a hearing about Amazon’s anti-union activities.
The office of Chairman Sanders said in a press release about the hearing:
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, announced Monday that the committee will hold a hearing Thursday, May 5, at 11:00 a.m. titled “Should Taxpayer Dollars Go to Companies that Violate Labor Laws?”
Thursday’s hearing comes at a time when the federal government spends more than $600 billion each year on contracts to thousands of companies who employ more than four million contract workers. However, nearly 30 percent of the top 200 violators of workplace safety and wage theft are government contractors. Between 2014 and 2019, federal contractors were required to pay nearly $225 million in back wages to workers for Service Contract Act violations.
Amazon, one of the largest and most profitable corporations in America, has become the poster child for illegal anti-union behavior while raking in billions in federal contracts. Since 2004, Amazon has received thousands of federal contracts worth billions of dollars, and is currently in line to receive a $10 billion cloud contract from the National Security Agency. Blue Origin may also soon receive a contract from NASA worth up to $10 billion. However, last year alone, Amazon spent over $4 million on consultants in an effort to illegally prevent its warehouses from unionizing. Amazon has also been penalized more than $75 million for breaking federal discrimination and wage laws, is currently being sued by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for illegal anti-union retaliation, and has 59 Unfair Labor Practice cases currently open against them.
Testifying at the hearing will be Christian Smalls, Sean O’Brien, Greg LeRoy, and Thomas Costa.
Chairman Sanders has also extended an invitation to Jeff Bezos to testify at the hearing.
It is not just working conditions. Amazon has been investigated for short-changing warehouse workers on their pay.
Amazon has billions of dollars in federal contracts, and Sen. Sanders is asking a key question. Should taxpayer money be going to a company that engages in anti-union activities?
The odds are that Bezos won’t show up to testify, but America has increasingly had enough of giant companies like Amazon mistreating their workers while billionaire owners get richer.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association