Democratic representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez has condemned certain jobs at technology giant Amazon as a “scam”, saying they do not provide ample financial security for workers.
“A ‘job’ that leaves you homeless & on food stamps isn’t a job. It’s a scam,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez, the representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, said on Twitter on Friday.
The tweet was directed in response to an article from Bloomberg that reported over 4,000 Amazon warehouse employees are on food stamps and others being homeless.
The report claimed that the company is transforming the logistics industry from a career destination with the promise of middle-class wages into entry-level work.
“This is why “Amazon jobs” aren’t it & we should instead focus our public investments + incentives on small businesses, public infrastructure, & worker cooperatives that actually support dignified life,” Rep Ocasio Cortez continued.
In response to Bloomberg’s article, an Amazon spokesperson told the outlet that its “conclusion is false” and “violates over 50 years of economic thought, and suspends the law of supply and demand.”
They added: “Hiring more, by paying less, simply does not work. Many of our employees join Amazon from other jobs in retail which tend to be predominantly part-time, reduced benefit jobs with substantially less than our $15 minimum wage.
“These employees see a big increase in pay per hour, total take-home pay, and overall benefits versus their previous jobs.
“What surprises us is that we are the focus of a story like this when some of the country’s largest employers, including the largest retailer, have yet to join us in raising the minimum wage to $15,” the company said.
At the onset of the pandemic, Amazon received intense scrutiny after a number of workers accused the company of failing to provide safe conditions for warehouse employees.
Amazon’s CEO Jess Bezos, saw his net worth exceed US$200bn (£148bn) in 2020 amid the pandemic and the online retailer’s spike in sales.