Bernie Sanders covers for Jeff Bezos as fraud of $15 pay raise at Amazon is exposed
6 October 2018
Only one week ago, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders presented himself as the arch-enemy of the online retail giant Amazon and its CEO Jeff Bezos, the wealthiest man on the planet. After Amazon announced it would increase starting pay for its workers from $12 to $15 an hour, Sanders spoke of Bezos as though the two were close friends and mutual admirers.
For months, Sanders posted videos and articles to his Facebook pages denouncing the company’s abuse of low paid workers in its warehouse fulfillment centers, where workers are pushed to the point of exhaustion and physical incapacitation.
Sanders also criticized Bezos’ obscene wealth, including him in one of his “Faces of Greed” videos. He sponsored a bill in the Senate, which had no chance of passing, called the “Stop BEZOS Act.” The bill would have taxed low-wage employers such as Amazon at a rate commensurate with what their employees receive in government assistance.
Sanders did everything he could to present himself as the representative of growing popular outrage in response to revelations about the abuse and exploitation of workers at Amazon, including those exposed by the WSWS.
However, after Bezos increased his employees’ pay to a still poverty-level rate of $15 an hour, Sanders rushed to embrace Bezos as an altruistic reformer.
“Today I want to give credit to where credit is due, and I want to congratulate Mr. Bezos for doing exactly the right thing,” Sanders said in a speech in the Senate. He added on Twitter, “What Mr. Bezos has done today is not only enormously important for Amazon’s hundreds of thousands of employees. It could well be, and I think it will be, a shot heard around…