Dear Bernie (opinion)
Kudos goes out to Jeff Bezos and his response to Bernie Sanders about “corporations” who employ workers that “use government benefits” just to survive. So what was the response? Well, Amazon’s minimum (starting) wage has increased to 15.00 per hour. Great! Here’s the problem. No disrespect Bernie, but in you’re time.. $15.00/hr was a “livable wage”. By the way, Jeff earns an employees yearly base pay in about 10 minutes. Do you? Probably not. Nobody talks about the government already taxing him a hell of a lot of money as it is. Both as a business, and probably for his income. So keep that in mind.
This “action” of course was targeted at the huge Amazon Fulfillment Centers located all across the world. Let’s keep another thing in mind. No warehouse job is serving caviar, or treating employees well. Many of them are not very safe either. I think it’s a little unfair to treat the “warehouse” portion of Amazon as if it’s the company in it’s entirety. This is like yelling at a butcher shop storage area because the meat dripped blood on some of the racks. The actual customer still sees the nice fancy cut of steak at their supermarket and wouldn’t normally even think about what it’s been through. Unless of course, it came from the wealthiest butcher in the world.
The warehouses are just a small part of the Amazon pyramid. In other words, now Amazon has to pay people $15.00 an hour to sit at home on their phone helping customers. Which I think really hurts the brain of anyone who works hard and really hustles for that money. Whereas, previously they were paid 10.00/hr which seems fair, and competitive to similar jobs. Something to think about..
Let me start off by saying I admire Jeff, and Amazon. Yeah, Bernie.. Trump.. You guys too. So I may be a bit biased in this article. However, please forgive me. Raising the “minimum” was a great move to boost the economy, salaries, and make things a little more fair for the avg. employee. However, that comes at a cost. Many employees who start at amazon will no longer earn “bonuses'“ for their hard work. Employees, will no longer have “Restricted Stocks”. Employee’s that have been there for years can only max out at 15.25. In other words, Bernie caused some very “good looking” (to the public) pay cuts for workers at Amazon.
Here’s the deal. I think Jeff made a GREAT business move to boost the minimum pay. Especially if the bill passed on getting taxed 100 percent for every employee on gov assistance. He found a way to do this, and still make more money. Kudos to that. Just because a man like Jeff Bezos becomes successful doesn’t mean he suddenly “owes” people more. However, if you’re not keeping your brands public image, or employees happy. None of that even matters. They will no longer support you later down the road. Especially, if his own employees can’t afford to shop at Amazon.
What I would of done. If I wanted my employees, and the public to have a better outlook on Amazon. I would have kept the bonuses, stocks, and former pay schedule that rewards employees with pay increases and let them max out at 20-25 per hour. I think that would be just the balance the company needs to erase this horrible image it’s created for itself. Then they would just have to work on that “most dangerous” place to work stigma.
About those “horror stories”. From my experience, many of those stories are true but highly exaggerated. Yes, employees are expected to work. Yes, employees get hurt. Yes, employees have a “target” to meet. That’s just what companies do to earn money. I think that Amazon found a way to ensure people actually do their job. As long as you do your job, you should be just fine.
Amazon is notorious for “helping to promote and create” other brands. I think keeping the pay scale fair would only benefit them more in the future. For example. If my brand pays someone enough to create a Brand of their own, and stay partnered with me. Then that creates a strong economic pull that nobody would disagree with, or criticize. All in all. I think people may value my two cents so I figured I would put it out there. After all, I was way too sore to work (or make rate) today. So I took the day off. Thank God for unpaid time off.