Bezos built Amazon into a shopping and entertainment behemoth but has faced increasing activism within his own workforce and stepped up pressure from critics to improve working conditions.

The world’s richest man wanted to say thanks to the people who made his brief trip into space Tuesday possible. But for some, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ expression of gratitude went over like a lead rocket.
“I want to thank every Amazon employee, and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for all this,” the 57-year-old Bezos said during a news conference Tuesday after becoming the second billionaire in just over a week to ride in his own spacecraft.
Bezos built Amazon into a shopping and entertainment behemoth but has faced increasing activism within his own workforce and stepped up pressure from critics to improve working conditions.
Labor groups and Amazon workers have claimed that the company offers its hourly employees not enough break times, puts too much reliance on rigid productivity metrics and has unsafe working conditions. An effort to unionise workers at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama failed earlier this year.
Robert Reich, former secretary of labour under President Bill Clinton and a professor of public policy at University of California, Berkeley, wrote on Twitter that Bezos has crushed unionizing attempts for decades.
“Amazon workers don’t need Bezos to thank them. They need him to stop union busting and pay them what they deserve,” Reich wrote.


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