Thanks to the people who made his short trip into the world on Tuesday. But for some, the expression of gratitude from Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos was like a lead rocket.
“I want to thank all Amazon employees and customers, because you guys paid,” Bezos, a 57-year-old, told Tuesday after becoming the second billionaire for riding his own spacecraft in a few weeks.
“I’m grateful for this. Bezos built Amazon into a picnic, but he confronted increased activism within his own workforce and stepped up criticism in order to improve working conditions.
Work groups and Amazon workers said the company provides insufficient break times for its hourly employees, relies too strongly on production metrics and has unsafe working conditions.
Earlier this year, efforts were not made to syndize workers in an Amazon warehouse in Alabama.
Robert Reich, former labour secretary for Bill Clinton and University of California public policy professor, Berkeley, wrote on Twitter that Bezos has been tearing down syndical attempts over several decades.
“To thank them the workers from the Amazon do not need Bezos. They need him to stop the Union busting – and to pay for it,” wrote Reich.
In July, Bezos retired as Amazon CEO, allowing him more time for side projects, including his Blue Origin space exploration firm.
The rocket company has been financed by selling an Amazon share of $1 billion a year.
Bezos gave $100 million after the space flights to Chef Jose Andres and Van Jones, the contributors of CNN, to donate for any charitable or non-profit organisation of their choice.
Nevertheless, Rep Earl Blumenauer on Tuesday proposed laws to tax space travel for non-science research purposes, which are part of the Ways and Means Tax Writing Committee. Blumenauer, Oegon Democrat said, “Space exploitation is not a tax-free vacation for the wealthy.
“Like ordinary Americans, when purchasing airline tickets, billionaires who fly into space to generate nothing of scientific value should do the same, then some.”
Others linked his spacecraft to reports that Bezos hadn’t paid his fair tax share. Bezos paid no income tax in 2007 and 2011, according to the ProPublica non-profit investigative journalism organisation.
Elizabeth Warren, M.D. Allen Adamson, co-founder of Metaforce Marketing Consulting, says it’s challenging for Bezos to say where the money from without offensive space travel originates.
“This is rocket fuel for those faced with a problem in inequality and their salaries compared to the average employee salary,” said Adamson.