Amazon is under fire after offering the public the opportunity to donate to a “relief fund” for their workers.
Amazon is owned by the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, with a net worth of roughly 116 billion.
1. Amazon, owned by the richest man in the world, is soliciting PUBLIC DONATIONS to pay sick leave for contract drivers who contract COVID-19
This is not a jokehttps://t.co/YAYeLo5Jak
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) March 24, 2020
3. Amazon gave $25 million to the Amazon Relief Fund and then solicited donations for more.
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) March 24, 2020
The Independent reports Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos faces backlash after publicising a relief fund the public can donate to for his contract employees working during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Amazon Relief Fund was created with $25m from the e-commerce company to assist its “employees and partners”, specifically those who are responsible for the necessary task of delivering all the products consumers order across the US.
It’s focused on “supporting our US-based Delivery Associates employed by Delivery Service Providers, our Amazon Flex Delivery Partners, and Associates working for Integrity Staffing, Adecco Staffing, and RES Staffing, and drivers and support team members of line haul partners under financial distress due to a Covid-19 diagnosis or quarantine.”
Besides the company contributing $25m to the fund, it also allows the public to donate if they deem it important. “While we aren’t expecting anyone to do so, you can make a voluntary donation to the fund if you desire to do so,” Amazon wrote on its fund’s website.
Amazon tweaked the wording to the above after initially encouraging people to donate via text, according to Popular Information.
But asking for public donations has still caught some backlash online.
“How is your company worth over a TRILLION dollars and you want the public to donate to an employee relief fund?! As if Amazon can’t pay their employees themselves,” one frustrated consumer wrote on Twitter.
Amazon is worth $1tn, and Mr Bezos is worth an estimated $114bn, making him the world’s richest man. In 2018, the company reported an income of $11bn but paid $0 into federal taxes.
As the pandemic continues and more consumers turn to the e-commerce site to stock up on necessary essentials, the company is anticipated to post an even larger income this year. But it is still asking for consumers to contribute to its fund if they would like.
“We are not and have not asked for donations and the Amazon Relief Fund has been funded by Amazon with an initial donation of $25 million. The structure to operate a fund like this, which hundreds of companies do through the same third-party, requires the program to be open to public contributions but we are not soliciting those contributions in any way,” a spokesperson with Amazon told The Independent.
Amazon has a relief fund for their workers…
The one whose founder is Jeff Bezos?
The man whose net worth is $110 BILLION.
Does anyone ANYONE else see the irony in this??
— Faizah (@_FaizahKarim) March 21, 2020
The fact that Amazon has made billions in profits and continues to profit during this crisis, but set up a charity called Amazon Relief Fund so Amazon customers could donate to help their workers affected by corona virus is really telling.
— j (@jaywrong) March 22, 2020
Amazon has responded to the controversy by tweeting:
We are not & have never asked for donations. We funded the Amazon Relief Fund with an initial donation of $25M. In order to operate a fund like this, which hundreds of companies do through the same third-party, you must open the program to public contributions. https://t.co/O7w7vSTMLR
— Amazon Policy (@amazon_policy) March 24, 2020
But not everyone was impressed:
That's great. Now have @JeffBezos help his own employees by donating 1% of his wealth to the Amazon Relief Fund. Show us that he actually cares about his employees.
— Danny Cameron (@DannyDCameron) March 25, 2020
Jeff Bezos could pledge half his fortune to help everyone in the world during these dark days and still be one of the richest men in the universe!!
— Milstead On Movies (@MilsteadMovies) March 25, 2020