How generous are you when you are the richest man in the world at a net worth of $130 billion? Not generous enough it seems. Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon and The Washington Post is not coming out on top this week as a big-hearted employer.
Earlier this year, employees at an Amazon location near London said that they started “peeing in bottles” because they were afraid they would be fired or disciplined if they took the time to traverse the 700,000 square feet office space to find one of two toilets on the ground floor of the four-story building.
What’s the matter Bezos? You can’t afford to have more toilets installed?
Last week, reports compiled by New York-based labor watchdog China Labor Watch over a nine month period claims that employees are suffering from poor working conditions.
Allegations are that workers are forced to work more than 100 hours of overtime every month. Chinese labor laws only allow 36 hours of overtime per month.
In addition, workers are offered low pay in exchange for their overtime. Working 14 consecutive days during peak season is not uncommon.
The report further indicates that wages are deducted when workers take leave or unexcused absences.
Finally, the report asserts that workers are also subjected to verbal abuse at Amazon’s manufacturing facility.
Where is the public outcry? Why isn’t the Left up in arms over the “sweatshop” mentality in Amazon’s China location?
And there’s more!
A statement from the employees’ union of The Washington Post was issued over the weekend.
It reads as follows:
Dear Jeff Bezos, owner of The Washington Post:
We, the undersigned, have been extremely grateful that you stepped in to purchase the Post at a time when the traditional media model was collapsing, and we have given our all to take advantage of the long runway you promised. In the past year alone, the Post has doubled the number of digital subscriptions and increased its online traffic by more than half; its advertising team has met or exceeded all its targets.
All we are asking for is fairness for each and every employee who contributed to this company’s success: fair wages; fair benefits for retirement, family leave and health care; and a fair amount of job security.
• Offering $10 a week in pay increases – or about 0.6 percent of the median salary and less than half the current rate of inflation – is unfair and even shocking from someone who believes democracy dies in darkness.
• Refusing to improve retirement benefits is unfair, particularly since you froze the traditional pension. The current retirement plans, including a 1 percent match on our 401(k), suggest that you place little value in your employees’ future financial security.
• Pushing for the right to indiscriminately lay off anyone is unfair – and a recipe for future discrimination against older employees and minorities.
• Further cutting severance for people who face layoffs or whose job has been outsourced is unfair, particularly since management has already won the right to drastically cut severance for people who are let go for cause.
• Demanding that laid-off employees waive their legal rights to receive severance payments is an extreme demand and an ominous one – particularly in light of the Post’s mixed record on fair treatment for women, racial minorities and older employees.
The Post is not just any business venture. But even if it were – this would not be the way to show that you value your employees.
Please show the world that you not only can lead the way in creating wealth, but that you also know how to share it with the people who helped you create it.
Media and union membership inquiries: wapounion [at] gmail.com”
The petition lists a number of reasons employees believe that Bezos’ practices are “unfair” and ask that he “Please show the world that you not only can lead the way in creating wealth, but that you also know how to share it with the people who helped you create it.”
Now that’s rich!
President Donald Trump got in on the action as well tweeting his encouragement to WaPo employees to strike.
Trump expressed his belief in the benefit of employees getting more money and eliminating Fake News for an extended period of time.”
Washington Post employees want to go on strike because Bezos isn’t paying them enough. I think a really long strike would be a great idea. Employees would get more money and we would get rid of Fake News for an extended period of time! Is @WaPo a registered lobbyist?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 17, 2018
While Bezos may be trying to buy happiness with his billions, it sure doesn’t appear as though he’s that concerned with the happiness of others.
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