400 international lawmakers sign ‘Make Amazon Pay’ letter

An open letter to Jeff Bezos demanding Amazon to stop “dodging” debts to workers, societies, and the planet, has been signed by 401 international parliamentarians.

The letter, co-signed by public officials from across 34 countries and six continents, said that the world knows “Amazon can afford to pay its workers, its environmental cost and its taxes” but that the retail giant had “dodged and dismissed” its debts to works, societies and the planet.

The letter claims that Jeff Bezos’ personal wealth has increased by $13 million per hour this year, while Amazon workers have entered “dangerous working conditions” where they have had “little or no increase in their pay, and face retaliation for their efforts to defend themselves and organise their colleagues.”

Co-signatories demanded Bezos’ address the company’s carbon footprint, which the letter claims is greater than two-thirds of the world’s countries and said that the online retailer’s existing plan for reducing emissions is “insufficient” and “difficult to trust given Amazon’s record of broken promises on sustainability.”

The document, which was sent to the Amazon boss last week, also said that the business had undermined democracies, claiming that the retailer’s “monopolistic practices have squeezed small businesses” while its web services have “disrespected data rights.”

The letter also said that in 2017 and 2018 the retail giant paid zero US federation corporation tax, saying that through the companies “global tax dodging, [it] damage[s] the public provision of health, education, housing, social security and infrastructure.”

An Amazon spokesperson said: “While as a large company we welcome scrutiny from policymakers, the matters raised in this letter stem from a series of misleading assertions by misinformed or self-interested groups who appear to be using Amazon’s profile to further their individual causes.

“Amazon has a strong track record of supporting our employees, our customers, and our communities, including providing safe working conditions, competitive wages and great benefits, leading on climate change with the Climate Pledge commitment to be net zero carbon by 2040, and paying billions [of euros/pounds/dollars] in taxes globally. We look forward to continued dialogue with interested parties on these topics,” the spokesperson added.

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