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Article

4 Sep 2018

Author:
Abha Bhattarai, The Washington Post

Thousands of Amazon workers receive food stamps. Now Bernie Sanders wants the company to pay up

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will soon introduce legislation that would require large employers such as Amazon, Walmart and McDonald’s to fully cover the cost of food stamps, public housing, Medicaid and other federal assistance received by their employees. The goal, he says, is to force corporations to pay a living wage and curb about $150 billion in taxpayer dollars that go to funding federal assistance programs for low-wage workers each year... Labor groups say that gap is particularly pronounced at the nation’s largest — and most profitable — companies, including Walmart, which has about 2.2 million workers, and Amazon, which employs more than 575,000.

... “While Mr. Bezos is the most egregious example, the Walton family of Walmart and many other billionaire-owned profitable corporations also enrich themselves off taxpayer assistance while paying their workers poverty-level wages," Sanders said... Etches, of Amazon, said the company had created more than 130,000 new jobs “with highly competitive pay and full benefits" in the past year. She added that the average hourly wage for full-time workers in U.S. warehouses is more than $15 an hour when stock and incentive bonuses are factored in.

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