Ilhan Omar Rips Jeff Bezos Over Making $152K Per Minute While 'Workers Forced to Defecate in Bags'

One of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' most vocal and trenchant congressional critics, Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, blasted the billionaire businessman for forcing workers to "defecate in bags" as punishment for their attempts to unionize.

Omar has for years expressed solidarity with Amazon fulfillment center employees alongside progressive lawmakers including Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Her recent scathing criticism has honed in on Amazon's reportedly insidious efforts to prevent workers from forming a labor union.

Amazon did not respond to Newsweek's request for reaction to Omar's claim on Thursday, but the company has never officially acknowledged taking any punitive action against workers who have attempted to unionize.

Amid rampant allegations of deplorable workplace conditions and obscene delivery deadlines, Omar has protested alongside Amazon workers in Shakopee, Minnesota, and offered support to Bessemer, Alabama, facility employees who said anti-union flyers even started popping up inside warehouse bathrooms.

Internal Amazon documents leaked to The Intercept in March revealed that executives and logistics personnel were aware that employees were forced to urinate in bottles and defecate in bags while delivering packages. Amazon has not commented on the allegations or the leaked documents.

Omar on Thursday tweeted: "Jeff Bezos is now worth $193 billion. He makes $152,000 per *minute* and yet his workers are forced to defecate in bags, and face retaliation for trying to exercise their right to collectively bargain. Don't pretend this is normal," Omar tweeted.

Jeff Bezos is now worth $193 billion.

He makes $152,000 per *minute* and yet his workers are forced defecate in bags, and face retaliation for trying to exercise their right to collectively bargain.

Don't pretend this is normal.

— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) April 8, 2021

During a December 2018 rally for labor organization at the Shakopee facility just outside of Minneapolis, Omar acknowledged that Amazon has been instrumental in helping the area's large East African community in "closing the unemployment gap."

But she stressed that Amazon and Bezos should form a more direct partnership to "uplift" the local workers and "treat them with dignity," a movement she's remained extremely close to now for years.

An anonymous Amazon driver posted a now-viral video to Reddit on Wednesday that described her "no more smiles with Amazon" protest against company working conditions. She achieves this by leaving boxes—which feature the corporation's smile-like logo—upside down.

Omar also blasted Bezos, who has been trading the title of world's richest person with Elon Musk for several weeks, for undermining the "dignity" of his more than a half-million U.S. workers.

"Here in Minnesota, when we work, we expect there to be dignity, we expect there to be respect, we expect there to be fair compensation, we expect that there are working standards," Omar said to raucous applause during a December 2018 protest alongside Shakopee, Minnesota, Amazon fulfillment center workers.

In response to unionization efforts across the country, Amazon spokespersons have reiterated that they already offer workers the things they are demanding, even in "right-to-work" states that don't require such benefits.

Omar and Sanders have directed their criticism toward McDonald's, Walmart and other multibillion-dollar corporations that frequently pay little or no federal taxes. In December, Omar joined 400 lawmakers in 34 countries who demanded companies like Amazon pay their "debts to workers, societies, and the planet" over the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Raising the minimum wage to $15 will: -Provide a raise to 32 million workers -Lift 1.3 million households out of poverty -Boost economic growth Starvation wages shouldn't exist in America. Let's #RaiseTheWage!" Omar tweeted Monday, linking to a Newsweek story that highlighted the McDonald's CEO conceding that $15 minimum wage "won't hurt" businesses.

Vitor Gaspar, the International Monetary Fund's chief of fiscal affairs, announced Thursday the IMF's support for a "solidarity tax" on the coronavirus pandemic's biggest corporate winners and wealthiest individuals.

Newsweek reached out to Omar's office for any additional remarks Thursday morning.

ilhan omar shakopee minnesota amazon
Representative-elect Ilhan Omar speaks during a rally at the Amazon fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minnesota, on December 14, 2018. A group of Amazon workers in Minnesota who are Somali refugees that resettled in the state demanded better working conditions during a protest outside one of the retailer's warehouses in the Minneapolis suburb of Shakopee. KEREM YUCEL / Contributor/Getty Images