Bernie Sanders introduces the BEZOS Act, targets Amazon and others

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is targeted in the proposed legislation

Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled legislation on Wednesday targeting pay and working conditions at big companies like Amazon, after the pair traded jabs in blog posts last week.

The former Democratic presidential candidate partnered with prominent House progressive Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) to introduce the Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies (Stop BEZOS) Act.

"We want our employees to succeed in their jobs", Lynch writes, "and managers actively work with employees to ensure we're providing a fun, safe place to work".

"Meanwhile, Mr. Bezos continues to pay thousands of his Amazon employees wages that are so low that they must rely on food stamps, Medicaid, or subsidized housing in order to survive", he said.

The act is aimed at shaming companies like Amazon, Walmart and United Airlines who, despite being such large corporations, practically force their employees to depend on public assistance.

"Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is the wealthiest person on Earth", Sanders said Wednesday.

Sanders said his bill would place a 100% tax on the government benefits these workers receive if they work for a company with more than 500 employees.

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"Throughout the year on average, almost 90 percent of associates across the company's USA fulfillment network are regular employees who receive full benefits", Lynch writes in an email.

The war between Senator Sanders and Amazon has been going on for a long time. She and her three children also lived with her parents while she was working at Amazon because, as she told Sanders' office, "I could not afford to find a safe location for my family".

The bill makes it illegal for the company to ask employees if they receive or qualify for federal assistance and leaves it to the Internal Revenue Service, in consultation with other federal agencies, to determine the amount of the tax.

Because of low wages, taxpayers must shell out $150 billion a year on government assistance that workers wouldn't have to tap if their pay was better, Sanders said, citing a study from the University of California, Berkeley Labor Center.

The proposed legislation comes one day after Amazon reached $1 trillion in market cap, a milestone that cements its position as one of the world's wealthiest companies. "As I am sure you know, with my very strong support, the state legislature voted to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour".

"They have identified an absolutely valid target, which is companies that pay well below a living wage to employees who need precisely that", Bernstein said.

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