Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Amazon, Politicians, Tech, warehouses

Ocasio-Cortez knocked Amazon’s working conditions, and Amazon replied

Opposition to the Amazon move to New York City was high

Image: drew angerer/Getty Images

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been one of the most outspoken critics of Amazon’s now-abandoned HQ2 plan for New York City, and now the online mega-retailer is hitting back… nicely.

After the young congresswoman criticized Amazon over reports of the inhumane conditions faced by the company’s warehouse workers, an Amazon exec responded with a denial and an offer: come visit our facilities and see for yourself.

“Is that culture of ‘strict performance why Amazon workers have to urinate in bottles & work while on food stamps to meet targets?'” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “‘Performance’ shouldn’t come at the cost of dehumanizing conditions. That’s why we got rid of sweatshops.”

The tweet, which has quite an audience given her 3.6 million Twitter followers, sent Amazon into full-on damage control. The company’s Senior Vice President of Operations Dave Clark pushed back.

“These claims simply aren’t true,” Clark wrote. “We are proud of our jobs with excellent pay ($15 min), benefits from day 1, & lots of other benefits like our Career Choice pre-paid educational programs.  Why don’t you come take a tour & see for yourself…we’d love to have you!

Ocasio-Cortez hasn’t replied to Clark’s invitation as of this writing, nor has she replied to requests for comment from the media. But! Let’s not pretend like Amazon’s totally innocent here.

The company is a massive corporation, with over 618,000 employees worldwide. It’s impossible for any visitor to see the working conditions for all Amazon’s warehouse employees. 

And even if she accepts Amazon’s invitation, it’ll almost certainly be a tour of its most scrubbed down facilities with perfectly humane working environments. It’s not like Amazon would ever show her anything bad.

Make no mistake, Clark’s invite is an easy PR tactic to try to win over a politician who’s made a name for herself questioning big business’ tactics. And also probably a ploy to shift the news cycle’s focus in a different direction.

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