San Francisco, April 16 2021: After the victory in anti-union activity in its Bessemer Alabama plant, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos told investors his empire needs a better “vision” for its workers. He said in an annual letter to investors, “I think we need to do a better job for our employees.”
The US based tech giant used this conciliatory approach as the government is considering stricter regulatory measures for digital platforms. Bezos who is about to step down as chief executive also wrote a new goal for the company which is to become the “Earth’s best employer” and “Earth’s safest place to work on. He reiterated his assertion that the company needs to strive for a better vision for its employees’ success.
The outcome of the anti-union activity in the Bessemer plant may have gone in favour of Amazon but Bezos’s admission means what the unions said said about the working conditions was correct according to Stuart Appelbaum, president of the union that vied to represent the Amazon workers. He also insisted upon the fact that workers need a union not just a public relations effort to damage control.
On the other hand, Bezos rejected news reports that according to him, unfairly portray Amazon workers as “desperate souls and treated as robots.” According to the company, they already provide more than most other employers with benefits and a $15 hourly wage. He called the reports of the working conditions at Amazon inaccurate and said people who worked at Amazon had a choice and they chose to work there. While unions and political leaders have argued that Amazon employees face constant pressure and monitoring, with little job protection, pressing the need for collective bargaining.
To the ambitious corporate taxation plan proposed by President Joe Biden also Jeff Bezos has shown deference and said in a statement, “We support the Biden administration’s focus on making bold investments in American infrastructure,” Bezos said regarding the 28% corporate taxation scheme. He added, “We recognize this investment will require concessions from all sides, both on the specifics of what’s included as well as how it gets paid for.”
In the past, Amazon has been the target of critics for years who claim it pays little or no corporate taxes. Bezos’s support for raising corporate taxes was echoed by the Chamber of Progress, a self-described “center-left” tech industry coalition whose members include Amazon, Facebook, Google and Twitter. Adam Kovacevich, the chamber chief said, “President Biden’s proposal to raise corporate tax rates to make major investments in infrastructure is a tradeoff that many in the tech industry can support.”
Meanwhile, US House Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline said that the results of a 16 month investigation makes its imperative for Congress to act. “Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook each hold monopoly power over significant sectors of our economy,” Cicilline said in a statement. “This monopoly moment must end.”
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