As COVID-19 deaths begin to mount, American workers are deciding to fight back.
Jeff Bezos, who is worth $100 billion dollars, has capitalized on the unfair advantage his company has now that many states have forced non-essential brick and mortar shops to close down.
Amazon has been on a massive hiring spree, packing thousands of new workers into its unsanitary and cramped warehouses. The drastic increase in demand and desire for pandemic profiteering has led to employees even in warehouses with confirmed COVID-19 cases to push through physically taxing, poorly compensated, longer than usual shifts. Individual workers must touch countless packages every day, while not being granted sufficient gear and precautionary measures that could slow efficiency. Health insurance or the hazard pay they deserve is off the table. This is not only dangerous for the workers, but it could spread the virus to customers across our nation as well.
A number of factors have given American workers the confidence to stand up for themselves. It is not easy right now for Amazon to bus in replacements, either temp workers or immigrants. The federal government's new stimulus bill, while highly flawed and fall of corporate welfare, does provide a decent safety net to those who get laid off. The current freeze on globalism has significantly weakened the power of capital and made it vulnerable to labor resistance.
Amazon began as an online book dealer that later morphed into a multi-national monopoly with 800,000 employees. Amazon is able to retain its power by buying out competitors, subjecting workers to third world conditions and few-to-no benefits, and utilizes a number of loopholes to pay 1.2% of its $14 billion in income on federal taxes, despite the massive public infrastructure burden Amazon's business model causes.
Whatever you think you're saving when you shop at Amazon you end up paying for in income taxes to subsidize Jeff Bezos' work force and infrastructure problems. Amazon workers are disproportionately more likely to need food stamps, welfare, medicaid and other social services. In Seattle, Amazon's presence has caused massive problems with traffic and the cost of housing to double in six years, In Virginia, the opening of Amazon's headquarters required massive projects to upgrade roads to accommodate a rush of new people.
Bezos does not do anything of social value with the personal wealth and power he has accumulated. The unlimited selection of books that put Amazon on the map is now, after crushing competitors, being drastically limited to censor political and historic books Jewish organizations and Bezos do not want the public to be able to read. Amazon's Smiles program is managed by anti-white and anti-working class extremists at the Southern Poverty Law Center. A new series produced by his company, "Hunters," is pro-"antifa," anti-white snuff porn that celebrates the grotesque and sadistic murder of German "Nazis" explicitly understood to be placeholders for ordinary white people. The Washington Post, a once authoritative newspaper, has been transformed into a print version of the Huffington Post under his command.
Bezos funds open borders programs and $10 billion dollars in grants to push green austerity. This may shield him from full-throated opposition from the liberal-left, but why doesn't he just pay his taxes and provide his workers with health care, basic labor rights, and a living wage instead?
Instead, Amazon leads the corporate world in ruthless exploitation. Jessica Bruder's book, Nomadland, notes that Amazon encourages the practice of "Workamping" - poor and often older white people who are forced to move into mobile homes or to live in their car and travel across the country looking for temporary jobs just to survive. One in four people in this tragic subculture work for Amazon, which also receives a corporate tax-subsidy for employing them due to their age. The physical and repetitive nature of the high pace work takes a toll on these workers, and the book describes how Amazon has painkiller dispensaries on walls at the job site for the precariously employed laborers to use.
Now is the time for Bezos to pay. The demands put forward by the striking workers: double hazard pay, paid sick leave, and more breaks, are common sense. Consumers, frightened by the prospect of the pandemic spreading, are already pressuring their government to shut down warehouses that have had infectious outbreaks but Amazon demanded stay open.
It is in times of crisis that we appreciate the true value of work. It's time to compensate it, whether it's "contractors" in the gig economy or a slave for. It is worms like Jeff Bezos whose multi-national presence and international supply chains have enabled the spread of the globalist virus and caused chronic shortages through deindustrialization. It's time for neo-liberal plutocrats be forced to pay for the mess and misery they have caused.