A joke at Bernie Sanders’ expense has backfired.
Earlier today, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders announced that he would be traveling to Alabama to stand in solidarity with the Amazon workers that seek to unionize their warehouse.
“I am proud to stand in solidarity with Amazon workers in Alabama who are fighting for better wages and better working conditions,” Sanders said in a tweet. “If they win, they will improve the lives of workers at the warehouse in Alabama and all over this country.”
In response to Sanders’ announcement, Amazon Executive Dave Clark made a series of tweets cracking jokes at Sanders’ expense and extoling the virtues of Amazon employment. “I welcome @SenSanders to Birmingham and appreciate his push for a progressive workplace,” Clark wrote, adding, “I often say we are the Bernie Sanders of employers, but that’s not quite right because we actually deliver a progressive workplace.”
“So if you want to hear about $15 an hour and health care, Senator Sanders will be speaking downtown,” Clark added. “But if you would like to make at least $15 an hour and have good health care, Amazon is hiring.”
Clark’s comments prompted a wave of outrage from both Twitter users and former and current government workers.
— People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) March 24, 2021
“Forcing workers to urinate in bottles, firing pregnant women for taking too many bathroom breaks, hiring analysts to monitor ‘labor organizing threats,’ making employees attend mandatory anti-union meetings. This is what a senior VP of Amazon calls a ‘progressive workplace,'” wrote former labor secretary Robert Reich.
“Sick. Out of touch arrogant greedy BS. $15 is the floor and it’s pathetic for the work people do in inhuman conditions. You won’t even let people use the elevators because that’s saved for product. Reminds me of mine owners 100 years ago more concerned about the mules than men,” wrote Association of Flight Attendants union president Sara Nelson.