Amazon is ripping into Bernie Sanders as pressure builds in the final days of a union vote led by workers in Alabama

Bernie Sanders minimum wage
Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during an event to introduce the Raise the Wage Act at the US Capitol on January 16, 2019. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
  • Amazon’s consumer chief, Dave Clark, attacked Sen. Bernie Sanders on Twitter on Thursday.
  • Clark said Sanders “should save his finger wagging” until he raises the minimum wage in Vermont.
  • Sanders is traveling to Alabama to speak with Amazon workers voting on forming its first union.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Amazon is going all in on attacking Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The company’s consumer chief, Dave Clark, went after Sanders for the second day in a row on Thursday. In a tweet, Clark called out Vermont’s $US11.75 ($15) minimum wage, saying Sanders “should save his finger wagging lecture until after he actually delivers in his own backyard.”

-Dave Clark (@davehclark) March 25, 2021

Amazon raised its minimum wage to $US15 ($20) in 2018 after critics including Sanders repeatedly highlighted the issue.

“We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead,” CEO Jeff Bezos said at the time. “We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.” The company has since used the move as a means of hurting its competitors.

Sanders announced on Wednesday that he’d travel to Bessemer, Alabama, to meet with employees at Amazon’s fulfillment center, who are in the final days of a unionization bid. The vote, which could form the first union in Amazon’s history, closes on Monday.

“I look forward to meeting with Amazon workers in Alabama on Friday,” Sanders said. “All I want to know is why the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, is spending millions trying to prevent workers from organizing a union so they can negotiate for better wages, benefits and working conditions.”

Clark hit back at the senator, saying that Amazon calls itself “the Bernie Sanders of employers” but that the comparison isn’t perfect “because we actually deliver a progressive workplace.”

Amazon does not support unionization and has actively pushed employees to vote against it. The company even launched an internal campaign, “Do It Without Dues,” to dissuade employees from unionizing.

Amazon employees have criticized the company’s working conditions for years.

Amazon delivery drivers who spoke with Insider in 2018 described a variety of time-saving measures they used to meet company demands, such as urinating in bottles, speeding, and sprinting to meet deadlines. Fulfillment-center workers in the UK said they peed in bottles so they didn’t have to leave their station to walk to a restroom, eating up work time.

Amazon has repeatedly pushed back on these reports. “You don’t really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you?” Amazon said on Twitter on Wednesday. “If that were true, nobody would work for us.”

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