Biden Grants Amazon $10B Contract Despite Pledge to Oppose Union-Busting OLIVIER DOULIERY/MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images JOHN BINDER 7 May 2022
President Joe Biden has given Amazon, for which billionaire Jeff Bezos serves as chairman of the board, a $10 billion federal contract despite having pledged to American union workers not to reward corporations accused of union-busting tactics.
For years, Amazon has been accused of trying to prevent its warehouse workers across the United States from unionizing amid reports that the corporation has put its workforce in dangerous scenarios under ruthless shipping quotas.
In August 2021, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found that Amazon had violated labor laws preventing its warehouse workers from unionizing when they tried to do so in Bessemer, Alabama. In February, Amazon was again accused of trying to prevent the warehouse workers from unionizing at the Alabama facility.
Last month warehouse workers at one of Amazon’s facilities in Staten Island, New York, voted to form the corporation’s first labor union. Amazon is now challenging the vote to unionize. Following the vote, Amazon has reportedly fired more than six of the Staten Island warehouse managers who fought to form the union.
A report from the Lever reveals that the Biden administration, despite Amazon’s history of interfering in unionization efforts, has rewarded the corporation with a massive federal contract after having vowed not to do so.
The Lever reports:
As part of his campaign promises, Biden laid out a plan to prevent corporations like Amazon from receiving lucrative federal contracts after having been accused of union-busting tactics.
He promised to “ensure federal dollars do not flow to employers who engage in union-busting activities, participate in wage theft, or violate labor law.”
Biden’s campaign pledge states:
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) spoke at a union rally for the warehouse workers late last month but has been silent on Biden’s billion dollar contract for Amazon.
Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) lobbied Biden to not reward Amazon with a federal contract, stating that the corporation has “time and time again” deployed union-busting tactics to stop warehouse workers from organizing.
“Mr. President: It is abundantly clear that time and time again Amazon has engaged in illegal anti-union activity,” Sanders wrote. “Amazon may be a large and profitable corporation, it may be owned by one of the wealthiest people in America, but it cannot be allowed to continue to violate the law and the rights of its employees. The time has come to tell Amazon that if it wants another federal contract it must obey the law.”
Amazon has notoriously skated by for years without paying federal income taxes. In 2020, the corporation paid federal income taxes for the first time since 2016. The amount paid by Amazon was just $162 million last year, a fraction of its 2019 $13.9 billion pre-tax reported income. For context, Amazon paid in federal income taxes just 1.2% of its pre-tax reported income last year.
Likewise, recent tax filings made public show Bezos paid an average federal income tax rate of less than 24 percent. In many cases, Bezos paid far less in taxes than millionaires earning a sixth of his income.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.
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