Bernie Sanders calls out Jeff Bezos for blocking Amazon workers union drive

“Jeff, you are worth 182 billion”

Jeff Bezos has turned down a request from Bernie Sanders for the Amazon chief to appear at a Senate hearing on income inequality in the US, as Amazon workers in Alabama participate in a closely watched vote to determine whether they will join the first-ever labour union in the company’s history.

More than 5,800 workers at the company’s warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama are voting through March to decide their membership in the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. Amazon has sought to curb the union efforts by discouraging workers with a text message campaign, in-person meetings and an anti-union website.

The progressive senator from Vermont and chair of the Senate’s Finance Committee has called out Mr Bezos for his company’s objections to the union effort. “Jeff, you’re worth $182 billion – that’s a lot of money,” the senator told MSNBC on 14 March. “What is your problem with allowing workers in Alabama to organize for better wages and better working conditions? You can afford to pay them more.”