Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world. The creator of Amazon.com is worth some $130 billion.
But his workers don’t fare so well. Some Amazon employees have to urinate in bottles to keep on schedule. And things apparently aren’t much better at Bezos’ other big property, The Washington Post.
More than 400 employees of The Post have signed a petition asking Bezos to pay the company’s employees more and to offer better benefits.
“All we are asking for is fairness for each and every employee who contributed to this company’s success: fair wages; fair benefits for retirement, family leave and health care; and a fair amount of job security,” the petition says. “More than 400 of our colleagues have signed this petition, and they’re just asking you to listen,” Global Opinions editor Karen Attiah says in a video posted with the written petition.
“#DearJeffBezos, we workers of The Washington Post have been bargaining for a year and have little to show for it because The Post won’t meet us halfway on much of anything. We love The Post. We know you do too. Our work has earned us more than what The Post is offering,” the Post Guild says in a post on Twitter.
The petition says The Post has “doubled the number of digital subscriptions and increased its online traffic by more than half,” but the company’s employees have not shared in the wealth.
“More than one year ago, the Guild’s bargaining committee entered into negotiations with the Post, hoping to achieve some of the benefits for our members and share in the success that we’ve had for the past year,” Freddy Kunkle, Metro reporter and co-chair of the Guild at the Washington Post, says in the video.
“What we’ve found instead is a profound unwillingness by the Post’s top management to meet us halfway on a lot of the issues that are important to us,” Kunkle says. “We’ve been met with unyielding resistance on almost every other issue important to us, and we’ve only basically managed to keep the worst things from happening.”
The petition also says, “Offering $10 a week in pay increases – or about 0.6 percent of the median salary and less than half the current rate of inflation – is unfair and even shocking from someone who believes democracy dies in darkness. … Refusing to improve retirement benefits is unfair, particularly since you froze the traditional pension. The current retirement plans, including a 1 percent match on our 401(k), suggest that you place little value in your employees’ future financial security.”
President Trump, who has repeatedly bashed The Post as “fake news” and taken aim at Bezos’ sweetheart deal with the U.S. Postal Service, took aim at the fellow billionaire on Sunday.
“Washington Post employees want to go on strike because Bezos isn’t paying them enough. I think a really long strike would be a great idea. Employees would get more money and we would get rid of Fake News for an extended period of time! Is @WaPo a registered lobbyist?” Trump said on Twitter.