Thousands of Amazon employees rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, to feed themselves.
One in three, or 1,800, Amazon employees in Arizona, one in 10 (700) in Ohio, and one in 10 in Pennsylvania, or more than 1,000, are on food stamps, Business Insider reported Saturday.
The numbers are “misleading because they include people who only worked for Amazon for a short period of time and/or who chose to work part-time,” an Amazon spokesperson told The Washington Post Thursday. “We have hundreds of full-time roles available, however, some prefer part-time for the flexibility or other personal reasons.”
Democratic socialist Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has been a vocal critic of companies like Amazon. He is introducing legislation that would require large businesses like Amazon to cover the cost of food stamps, The Washington Post reported.
Sanders slammed Amazon, whose CEO Jeff Bezos is the wealthiest person in modern history, in a tweet Friday for not paying its employees enough to feed themselves without tax payer assistance.
Bezos is worth about $157 billion — $59.8 billion more than Bill Gates, the second richest person in the world, according the the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
“There is something fundamentally wrong when thousands of Amazon workers are on food stamps while their boss, Jeff Bezos, is the richest man in the world,” Sanders wrote.
Amazon has risen in the rankings of the world’s largest employers with significant portions of their employees on food stamps, joining Walmart and McDonald’s, Business Insider noted. (RELATED: Amazon Paying People To Tweet About How Their Working Conditions Don’t Suck)
“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. In the U.S., the average hourly wage for a full-time associate in our fulfillment centers, including cash, stock, and incentive bonuses, is over $15/hour before overtime,” an Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider.
“That’s in addition to our full benefits package that includes health, vision and dental insurance, retirement, generous parental leave, and skills training for in-demand jobs through our Career Choice program, which has over 16,000 participants.”
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