Amazon Raking In Billions, Some Employees Relying On Food Stamps | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC



Amazon employees on food stamps

Bernie Sanders AP/Alex Brandon

  • Amazon is one of the top employers of those who receive SNAP benefits — otherwise known as food stamps — in at least five states.
  • In 2019 nearly one in three Amazon employees in Arizona was on food stamps, or lived with someone who was, according to data obtained by nonprofit New Food Economy from state governments. In both Pennsylvania and Ohio, one in 10 Amazon employees was on food stamps.
  • Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a prominent critic of Amazon, announced plans to introduce legislation that would tax companies when their employees are on government assistance.

A number of Amazon employees in at least five states were on food stamps — or SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — in 2019.

That's according to data obtained by nonprofit New Food Economy from state governments in the US. New Food got data from five states: Arizona, Kansas, Ohio, Washington, and Pennsylvania.

The New Food Economy reported that, in 2019, nearly one in three Amazon employees in Arizona was on food stamps, or lived with someone who was — meaning 1,800 people. In Pennsylvania, one in 10 Amazon employees was on food stamps, or more than 1,000 people.

A separate study, by Policy Matters Ohio, published in January, found that 700 Amazon workers in the state received food-stamp benefits.

That means that about 10% of all Amazon's employees in the state are in the program. It also means that Amazon has quickly risen in the rankings of the biggest employers with workers on SNAP, joining large corporations such as Walmart and McDonald's.

A spokesperson told The Washington Post that the numbers were "misleading because they include people who only worked for Amazon for a short period of time and/or who chose to work part-time. We have hundreds of full-time roles available, however, some prefer part-time for the flexibility or other personal reasons."

Sen. Bernie Sanders, a vocal critic of Amazon and its CEO, Jeff Bezos, announced on Friday he would be introducing legislation to the US Senate on September 5 that would impose a 100% tax on companies with more than 500 employees and workers employees on public assistance, according to The Post. For example, if an employee draws 0 from food stamps, that money would be taxed from that individual's employer.

More than 0 billion in federal funds goes to pay low-wage workers in the form of federal assistance. Sanders' move is designed to encourage employers to pay more — what he and proponents call a "living wage."

Amazon defended its warehouse-employee pay in a statement to Business Insider:

"We encourage anyone to compare our pay and benefits to other retailers. Amazon is proud to have created over 130,000 new jobs last year alone. These are good jobs with highly competitive pay and full benefits.






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Date: 15.12.2018, 02:47 / Views: 43292