Bernie Sanders Asks Why Jeff Bezos Is Spending 'Millions' To Stop Amazon Unions

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has questioned Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' stance on unions after one of the company's officials scrutinized the lawmaker's upcoming visit to workers in Alabama.

Sanders is due to meet with Amazon workers on Friday, as they vote on forming a union.

On Wednesday, Dave Clark, the chief executive of Amazon's worldwide consumer business, wrote a Twitter thread saying: "I welcome @SenSanders to Birmingham and appreciate his push for a progressive workplace. 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: a $15 minimum wage, health care from day one, career progression, and a safe and inclusive work environment.

"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."

Sanders shared a Reuters article detailing Clark's comments on Twitter and responded by questioning Bezos' position on workers forming a union.

"I look forward to meeting with Amazon workers in Alabama on Friday," he tweeted.

"All I want to know is why the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, is spending millions trying to prevent workers from organizing a union so they can negotiate for better wages, benefits and working conditions."

Sanders also called out Bezos on unions earlier this month.

Asked in an MSNBC interview what he would say to Bezos, Sanders said: "What is your problem with allowing workers in Alabama to organize for better wages and for better working conditions?"

The Associated Press reports that the mail vote in Alabama by almost 6,000 workers is the largest ever union push at Amazon. The vote began in February and runs through March.

Democratic lawmakers have backed the push for the Alabama Amazon workers to unionize. President Joe Biden has also backed unions.

Amazon has reportedly discouraged attempts among its workforce to unionize.

AP reported earlier this month that Amazon placed anti-union signs in its Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse, citing an Amazon employee. They also said there were messages sent to employee phones and meetings held where there was anti-union messaging.

Amazon also has a website "do it without dues," which suggests workers can get benefits without the need for a union.

In a statement in regard to the union attempt in Alabama, Amazon spokesperson Heather Knox told The Guardian: "We respect our employees' right to join or not join a labor union but we don't believe this group represents the majority of our employees' views. Our employees choose to work at Amazon because we offer some of the best jobs available everywhere we hire, and we encourage anyone to compare our overall pay, benefits, and workplace environment to any other company with similar jobs."

Newsweek has contacted Sanders' office and Amazon for comment.

bernie sanders speaks during committee hearing
Senator Bernie Sanders, Chairman of the Budget Committee, speaks during a committee hearing regarding wages at large corporations, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on February 25, 2021. He has backed Amazon workers forming a union. Stefani Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images