Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Bernie Sanders proposes ‘Stop BEZOS’ bill to end corporate welfare, boost wages

Bernie Sanders Takes Aim at Amazon Wages, Working Conditions With Stop BEZOS Act Bernie Sanders introduces ‘Stop BEZOS’ bill to tax Amazon for underpaying workers
Russell Knight | 09 September, 2018, 01:48

Dorsey also went before the House Energy and Commerce committee as well.

After several weeks of assaults on Amazon, Walmart, and other prominent employers, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) stepped up his game today.

The proposed bill, which is named the "Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies (Stop BEZOS) Act", would require large and profitable firms to pay into welfare programs according to the amount they are now receiving for free from the federal government.

"We want our employees to succeed in their jobs", Lynch writes, "and managers actively work with employees to ensure we're providing a fun, safe place to work". Introducing legislation created to make large corporations pay for the welfare benefits their employees use, Sanders took issue with Amazon's CEO in particular. Sanders has always been critical of Bezos, especially since reports earlier this year said many Amazon warehouse employees require federal assistance to put food on the table.

Amazon quickly hit back against the attacks, refuting Sanders' claims about public assistance and encouraging its fulfillment center employees to tweet positive things (in exchange for gift cards) about their experiences working at the company. He wants to bring in legislation, so that large companies may be levied a tax that is equal to the government benefits that employees receive from their companies. Sanders, not one to mince words, chose an acronym that matches the name of Amazon's chief executive. Sanders remarked that taxpayers should not be "subsidizing the wealthiest people in this country who are paying their workers inadequate wages".

"My concern is that there is already a political movement afoot to vilify public benefits and even though I know for a fact that the main sponsors of this bill - Sanders and Ro Khanna - don't feel that way, I worry that this idea unintentionally provides the hard right with another argument", Bernstein told Business Insider. Called the Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies Act, or Stop BEZOS Act, the tax would apply only to companies with 500 or more employees.

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But some economists said they anxious such measures may backfire by creating incentives for companies to avoid hiring workers who may be likely to collect federal benefits.

"Throughout the year on average, almost 90 percent of associates across the company's USA fulfillment network are regular employees who receive full benefits", Lynch writes in an email.

Amazon shares are down 1.3% to $2,012.68.

Denise Bennett, a former Amazon worker in Tennessee, said she made $11 an hour as a full-time employee but had to rely on SNAP benefits to make ends meet.

Plus, the legislation likely wouldn't do much to raise wages, the center said.

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