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Dozens of Amazon workers organized at Jeff Bezos' $165 million mansion to demand a $2 raise

Former workers and labor activists marched to the billionaire's home in order to protest against unfair working conditions.

Dozens of Amazon workers organized at Jeff Bezos' $165 million mansion to demand a $2 raise
Image Source: Twitter/ TCOEW

Over the course of the pandemic, as thousands of Americans lost their jobs and filed for unemployment benefits, there was one man who grew even wealthier: Jeff Bezos. The founder of the e-commerce giant Amazon is projected to become the world's first trillionaire. His workers, however, have been tremendously exploited prior to and during the public health crisis. In light of this, dozens of former Amazon employees gathered in front of Bezos's mansion—valued at a whopping $165 million—to demand a meager $2 raise on hourly wages. They also sought better benefits and increased safety precautions at Amazon warehouses in order to keep workers safe from the virus, VICE reports.

 



 

 

At a time when Americans are struggling to make ends meet, Amazon employees have worked harder to fulfill the number of online orders being placed as a result of pandemic-related lockdowns. Yet, they are still underpaid by their employer. Thus, around 100 people arrived at Will Rogers Memorial Park and then marched to Bezos’s home to protest their terrible working conditions. The protest was organized by the Congress of Essential Workers, a network of essential workers and allies "fighting for the elimination of billionaires." It was founded by former Amazon worker Christian Smalls.

 

 

"Cancel your Prime, stand in solidarity with the workers," Smalls affirmed during the rally. "You don't need Jeff Bezos. He needs us. We made him the richest man in the world." The former employee was fired in March for publicly speaking out and organizing demonstrations at the Staten Island JFK8 warehouse where he used to work. Amazon, on the other hand, claimed his termination was because he violated a company-imposed quarantine. A leaked company-wide memo nonetheless described Smalls, a Black man, as “not smart or articulate." It was written by Amazon general counsel David Zapolsky and also stated that the company should focus its anti-union PR efforts on making Smalls the face of unionization efforts.

 



 

 

The protesters called on Amazon to provide, in addition to reinstating a $2 per hour hazard pay for employees until the end of the pandemic, free childcare and healthcare for all employees, company shares for workers, a $30 minimum starting wage for workers, and the closure and sanitation of buildings where outbreaks take place. The group also demanded that Bezos pay a wealth tax of at least one percent. The tax revenue would be distributed "to fund the urban communities and organizations that the employers are invested in." The Congress of Essential Workers declared in a press release, "We demand that Jeff Bezos and the rest of the billionaire class pay their fair share to deal with the climate crisis... These are just a few of the issues that we feel billionaires like Jeff Bezos, who makes nearly $4,000 a second, can absolutely help relieve or resolve.”

 



 

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