UPDATED 04/5/21 11:03 a.m. ET: Amazon has issued an apology to Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan after the Democrat sent a tweet to executive Dave Clark.
“[The] tweet did not receive proper scrutiny. We need to hold ourselves to an extremely high accuracy bar at all times, and that is especially so when we are criticizing the comments of others,” Amazon said in a statement.
Read the original story below.
Given Sanders’ political history, specifically his passionate public support for a $15-per-hour federal minimum wage, many are excited by the former presidential candidate’s decision to pay Amazon workers a visit. But Dave Clark, the megacorporation’s CEO of Worldwide Consumer, used news of the Vermont senator’s impending visit to criticize him and tout the company’s supposedly exemplary treatment of its workers.
In a series of tweets shared Wednesday, Clark said he welcomes Sanders to Alabama and appreciates his “push for a progressive workplace,” then likened Amazon to the Sanders of employers before immediately walking that comparison back.
“I often say we are the Bernie Sanders of employers, but that’s not quite right because we actually deliver a progressive workplace for our constituents,” Clark said. “A $15 minimum wage, health care from day one, career progression, and a safe and inclusive work environment. So if you want to hear about $15 an hour and health care, Senator Sanders will be speaking downtown. But if you would like to make at least $15 an hour and have good health care, Amazon is hiring.”
Rep. Mark Pocan, a Democratic congressman from Wisconsin, was quick to call out Clark over these remarks.
“Paying workers $15 [an] hour doesn’t make you a ‘progressive workplace’ when you union-bust [and] make workers urinate in water bottles,” Pocan said on Wednesday night.
And not long after Pocan’s criticism of Clark, the official Amazon News account jumped into the replies by denying what it called “the peeing in bottles thing.”
Quickly, Pocan and others met this claim by sharing photos of urine-filled bottles. In a tweet Thursday morning, Pocan wished a “good morning” to all workers, adding that they “all deserve a union.”
While Sanders hasn’t directly responded to Clark’s tweets or those of the official Amazon News account, he did say on Wednesday that he’s looking forward to meeting with Amazon workers in Alabama and specifically mentioned Jeff Bezos, who he says “is spending millions trying to prevent workers from organizing a union.”
Below, see how all of this played out on Twitter. And for additional info on Amazon workers’ union efforts in Alabama, click here.