New York, March 13 : US Senator Bernie Sanders has invited Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos to a hearing next week on income and wealth inequality.
“I have invited Jeff Bezos to testify in the Budget Committee next week to explain to the American people why he thinks it’s appropriate for him to spend a whole lot of money denying economic dignity to workers at Amazon, while he has become $78 billion richer during the pandemic,” Sanders tweeted.
The Amazon CEO, however, turned down the offer to attend the hearing slated for March 17, CNBC reported on Friday.
Amazon, which has seen its sales growing dramatically during the pandemic as people rushed to get their supplies through online services due to the Covid-19 restrictions, has faced criticism from several quarters for allegedly not putting in place enough measures to protect its warehouse workers.
Sanders, who is the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, was among those who criticised the online retail giant for ending hazard pay for frontline workers and other labour practices during the pandemic.
He previously drew attention to the disparity in pay between top executives of the company and those who carry out the packing and delivery of the packages.
As other labour advocates also demanded higher wages for Amazon workers, the company in 2018 raised minimum wage to $15 an hour in the US.
The Senate hearing, titled “The Income and Wealth Inequality Crisis in America,” will also include testimony from Jennifer Bates, a worker from Amazon’s warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama where employees are making unionisation efforts, said the CNBC report.