Amazon has fired back a response to a comment by New York Congresswoman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, that it pays warehouse workers “starvation wages,” saying in a tweet that it pays workers at least $15 per hour plus full benefits.
In response to a question on ABC News’ “This Week” on Sunday about Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Ocasio-Cortez said whether Bezos is a billionaire is less of a concern to her than how the company’s policies impact Amazon warehouse workers.
Ocasio-Cortez added that she was concerned that Bezos’ “being a billionaire is predicated on paying people starvation wages and stripping them of their ability to access health care, and also if his ability to be a billionaire is predicated on the fact that his workers are taking food stamps.
Amazon tweeted back a response to Ocasio-Cortez’s comments, saying: “Amazon is a leader on pay at $15 min wage + full benefits from day one. We also lobby to raise federal min wage.“
— Amazon News (@amazonnews) June 17, 2019
It’s quite rare for Amazon to publicly condemn a politician on Twitter. The tweet included a video of Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks attacking Amazon, which she delivered during her appearance on ABC’s “This Week.”
A spokesperson for amazon called her claims “absurd” in a statement to Fox Business .
“These allegations are absurd,” the statement reads. “Amazon associates receive industry-leading pay starting at $15 an hour in fact, hourly associates at our Staten Island facility earn between $17.30 and $23 an hour, plus benefits which include comprehensive medical, dental, and vision insurance. On top of these benefits, Amazon pre-pays 95% of continuing education tuition costs through its Career Choice program for associates who want to pursue in-demand careers. For anyone who wants to know what it’s like to work in an Amazon fulfillment center, sign up for a tour today.” he added
Ocasio-Cortez has been one of the most outspoken public critics of Amazon and was highly critical of Amazon’s plan to move its second headquarters to Long Island City, in the borough of Queens, before Amazon pulled out.
Amazon had already decided to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour in 2018 after facing criticism for its pay disparity.