Amazon has been awarded a $10 billion federal contract by President Joe Biden. This is despite the fact that Jeff Bezos, a billionaire, had previously pledged to American workers not to reward corporations for union-busting tactics.
Amazon has been accused for years of trying to stop its warehouse workers from unionizing across the United States. There are reports that Amazon has placed its workers in dangerous situations under its ruthless shipping restrictions.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), in August 2021, found that Amazon had broken labor laws by preventing its warehouse workers from joining the union when they attempted to do so in Bessemer. Amazon was accused of again trying to stop warehouse workers unionizing at the Alabama facility.
Last month, warehouse workers in Amazon’s Staten Island, New York facility voted to create the first labor union. Amazon is challenging the vote to unionize. Amazon reportedly fired six Staten Island warehouse managers who supported the union’s formation after the vote.
According to the Lever, the Biden administration has awarded a huge federal contract to the corporation, despite Amazon’s past involvement in unionization efforts. This is despite the fact that it had previously promised not.
Nextgov reported a day later that the National Security Agency (NSA), Biden, had ratified a $10 Billion cloud computing contract for Amazon. This was just days after Biden hired his brother as a lobbyist, just days after the 2020 election. The contract for the company’s web services division is codenamed “Wild and Stormy” and is separate from another huge Pentagon cloud contract, which Amazon is also bidding on. [Emphasis added]
After Amazon won the NSA contract, the Amazon Labor Union lost the second election by a 2-to-1 margin at another Staten Island warehouse. This was just days after Amazon launched a furious campaign against the organizing drive. [Emphasis added]
Amazon was effectively doubling down on union busting while the Biden administration was delivering an enormous federal contract to Amazon. This signaled to Amazon executives that Biden is not interested in fulfilling his promise to use the government’s purchasing power to be “the best pro-union president.”
Biden, as part of his campaign promises laid out a plan that would prevent Amazon and other corporations from receiving lucrative federal contracts. This was after he had been accused of using union-busting tactics.
He pledged to “ensure federal funds do not flow employers who engage in labor-violating activities, wage theft or violate labor laws.”
Biden will establish a federal debarment of all employers that illegally oppose unions over a period of several years. This is in addition to the Obama-Biden debarment effort. [Emphasis added]
Biden will make sure federal contracts go only to employers that sign neutrality agreements, committing to not run anti-union campaign. Employers who provide support for their workers will be awarded contracts, which includes those that pay a minimum $15 an hour and family sustaining benefits. It is wrong to use the tax dollars of hardworking families to lower their standard of living. [Emphasis added]
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), spoke at a rally for warehouse workers last month, but was silent about Biden’s multi-billion dollar contract for Amazon.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), meanwhile, advocated for Biden not to award Amazon a federal contract. He stated that Amazon has “time after time” used union-busting tactics in order to prevent warehouse workers from organizing.
“Mr. “Mr. Amazon may be a profitable and large corporation and may even be owned by the richest person in America. However, the company cannot continue to violate the law as well as the rights of its employees. Amazon must be clear that it will not accept any federal contract unless it is given another one.
Amazon has been known to have floated by for many years without having to pay federal income taxes. The first time that Amazon has paid federal income taxes since 2016 was in 2020. Amazon paid $162 million in federal income taxes last year. This is a fraction its 2019 $13.9billion pre-tax income. Amazon paid federal income taxes on 1.2% of its pretax income last year.
Recent tax filings that were made public reveal that Bezos paid a lower federal income tax rate than 24%. Bezos often paid less taxes than millionaires who earn six times his income.