The world’s richest man Jeff Bezos is being compared to the ruler of an autocracy and the ones making the accusation are his employees at Amazon.
Reducing employee benefits while getting rich during the pandemic, Amazon is fiercely cracking down on workers who ask such questions and to make Jeff Bezos listen to the demands protesters are banging on his door in New York.
Over the last two months, Bezos’ New York apartment building has turned into a scene of protest with employees banging on the door. It is not an isolated incident since the Wuhan virus outbreak, Amazon workers have been protesting across the world.
According to them, the e-commerce giant has done little to keep its employees safe. The employees complain about lack of personal protective equipment, negligent safety guidelines, callous and unrealistic performance standards and inadequate compensation.
In June, Amazon ended wage increases and double overtime pay. For warehouse workers the hard pay of two dollars per hour has been discontinued. Health benefits have also been cut.
E-commerce is one of the few businesses that are flourishing during the pandemic with no dearth of money. Amazon has posted its biggest profit since its founding nearly 26-years ago helping Jeff Bezos retain the world’s richest tag.
The protesters have made an additional demand this time not to Jeff Bezos, but legislators. It’s being called the “Tax Bezos” movement.
A month ago, protesters even put a guillotine in front of Bezos’ house to send a signal — the death of all the wealthy men.
Amazon has not taken these protests lightly. At the Staten Island warehouse, employees walked out over safety concerns.
Chris Smalls who led the protest was fired. According to Amazon, Smalls was fired for not maintaining the social distancing norms but protesters say that is not the reason. Amazon is retaliating against vocal employees to stop them from forming unions.
In its defence the company says it acquired 100 million face masks for its workers in the last quarter and created jobs by hiring 175,000 people since the virus outbreak and spent nearly $700 million on employee benefits. WION