Internet shopping behemoth Amazon recently called out freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter — defending their salaries despite the political firebrand deeming them “starvation wages.”
According to Fox Business, the feud between the young congresswoman and the internet giant started after the Bronx native slammed the company’s low wages and limited healthcare options when she appeared on This Week, a political talkshow on ABC News.
Ocasio-Cortez made the comments after she was asked by host Jonathan Karl if her new progressive plan would strip Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, of his billionaire status.
“If his being a billionaire is predicated on paying people starvation wages and stripping them of their ability to access healthcare, and also, if his ability to be a billionaire is predicated on the fact that his workers take food stamps so I’m paying for him to be a billionaire.”
This is not the first time that the Boston University alumna waged a war against Amazon. She was instrumental in ending its plans to build a new headquarters in the Long Island City area of Queens after she claimed that the company did not deserve the tax break incentives given by the state.
Amazon has since hit back at Ocasio-Cortez, claiming that she is “just wrong” and that they are a “leader” on pay.
Per Fox Business, an Amazon spokeswoman also claimed that not only did Amazon offer pay starting at $15 per hour, but also that associates in Staten Island earned between $17.30 and $23 an hour, in addition to benefits such as comprehensive medical, dental, and vision. The minimum wage in New York is $15 per hour.
The spokesperson added that Amazon funds 95 percent of continuing education costs for employees involved in their Career Choice program.
However, the Boston University alumna was quick to fight back. In response to Amazon’s tweet, she replied with a recent article from The Daily Beast that claimed that one in ten Amazon workers in Ohio were resorting to food stamps to make ends meet.
From “day one?” Really?— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 18, 2019
1 in 10 of Amazon’s Ohio employees were on food stamps after the company opened fulfillment centers in the state.
Paying full-time employees so little that they require gov food assistance is what paying starvation wages means.https://t.co/jJrWkxGONh https://t.co/B6guAikAOX
She then reiterated her point in a follow up tweet.
“If a person is working 40h/week & is paid so little that they need gov help to make ends meet, it’s not the person that’s a weight on our system – it’s the company,” she wrote.
“People need to be paid a living wage. We stand up to [companies] that rely on food stamps to make up for their low wages.”
It should be noted that in the Daily Beast article, Amazon claimed that a vast majority of those requiring food stamp assistance were part-time employees.
Amazon is valued at over a trillion dollars. Meanwhile, its founder, Bezos, has a personal fortune of $121 billion.