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Independent Senator Bernie Sanders has targeted Amazon for its role in widening the wage gap in the United States, and this week he is expected to unveil legislation requiring large employers like Amazon to cover the cost of federal assistance received by their employees. We speak with journalist James Bloodworth, who spent a month working undercover as a “picker” in an Amazon order fulfillment center and found workers were urinating in bottles because they were discouraged from taking bathroom breaks. His new book is Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain.

Transcript

AMY GOODMAN: And just as we watch that report, independent Senator Bernie Sanders has targeted Amazon for its role in widening the wage gap in the United States. Senator Sanders spoke Monday at an AFL–CIO Labor Day breakfast and called out Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos by name.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: I am not comfortable when one person, wealthiest guy in the world, Jeff Bezos, is today seeing his wealth increase, today, $250 million every single day, but there are thousands of workers who are employed by him who are earning wages so low, they are on food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Amazon responded to ongoing criticism from Sanders last week in a blog post, saying, quote, “Amazon is proud to have created over 130,000 new jobs last year alone. In the U.S., the average hourly wage for a full-time associate in our fulfillment centers, including cash, stock, and incentive bonuses, is over $15/hour before overtime. … We encourage anyone to compare our pay and benefits to other retailers.”

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