- Senator Bernie Sanders introduced legislation aimed at forcing huge companies like Amazon to pay their employees better wages.
- The bill would tax companies for every dollar their employees receive in government benefits, such as food stamps.
- Amazon is one of the top employers whose workers receive food stamps.
- The bill is called Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies, or “Stop BEZOS.”
Bernie Sanders is firing with both barrels against Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos by introducing a bill which is literally named after him.
Senator Sanders, along with Representative Ro Khanna, introduced the Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies, or “Stop BEZOS” bill on Wednesday.
The bill would impose a 100% tax on corporations with 500 or more employees equal to the amount of money their employees receive in federal benefits such as food stamps or subsidised housing. It is aimed at forcing companies to pay their workers a living wage. The Vermont senator has previously railed against the way Amazon treats its workers.
“I think it is fair to say that the American people are tired of having to subsidised the wealthiest people in this country who are paying wages that are just so low that people can’t get by,”said Sanders in a speech.
His comments reference the fact that Amazon is one of the top employers whose workers receive food stamps.
Sanders spoke directly to wealth discrepancy between Bezos and the low-wage workers at Amazon.
“Jeff Bezos the founder of Amazon is the wealthiest person on Earth […] and he’s worth about 168 billion dollars, not bad. Since the beginning of this year his wealth has increased by about 260 million dollars every single day. Meanwhile Mr Bezos continues to pay thousands of his amazon employees wages that are so low that they must rely on food stamps, medicaid or subsidised housing in order to survive,” he said.
Sanders was keen to emphasise that the legislation was not just aimed at Bezos. He also took aim at the Walton family of Walmart, the richest family in America with a net worth of nearly $US175 billion, according to Sanders.
“The fact is that if employers in this country simply paid workers a living wage tax payers would save about 150 billion dollars a year on federal assistance programmes and millions of workers would live in dignity and security,” said Sanders.
Business Insider contacted Amazon for comment on the bill.
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