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Amazon Exec Dave Clark Gets Backlash After Mean Tweeting Bernie Sanders

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Amazon Exec Dave Clark Gets Backlash After Mean Tweeting Bernie Sanders

A word of advice: If you have something sarcastic to say, especially to a high-profile legislator, perhaps it is best not to put it on social media. Consider the case of Dave Clark, CEO of the worldwide consumer unit at Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

What Happened: Sanders, who represents Vermont, is planning to visit Birmingham, Alabama, on Friday for a meeting with Amazon workers seeking to unionize at the company’s Bessemer fulfillment center. In a three-part message posted on his Twitter page yesterday, Clark blew his corporate horn at the progressive senator.

“I welcome @SenSanders to Birmingham and appreciate his push for a progressive workplace,” Clark tweeted. “I often say we are the Bernie Sanders of employers, but that’s not quite right because we actually deliver a progressive workplace for our constituents: a $15 minimum wage, health care from day one, career progression, and a safe and inclusive work environment.

“So if you want to hear about $15 an hour and health care,” he continued, “Senator Sanders will be speaking downtown. “But if you would like to make at least $15 an hour and have good health care, Amazon is hiring.”

Related Link: Analyst Perspective: Walmart Vs. Target Vs. Amazon In Grocery Wars

What Happened Next: Clark’s tweets opened the digital equivalent of a hornet’s nest. Among the most prominent respondents was Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, who responded: “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.”

Robert Reich, the Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, pointed to news reports of Amazon workers forced to urinate in bottles rather than be given bathroom breaks, the firing of pregnant women “for taking too many bathroom breaks,” and Amazon’s demand that employees attend meeting designed to criticize labor unions. Reich tweeted, “This is what a senior VP of Amazon calls a ‘progressive workplace.’”

Clark’s comments generated more than 4,500 responses, most of them negative and some of them unsuitable for reprinting on this news site.

Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner surveyed the hostile responses by commenting on Twitter, “What on earth makes @davehclark think he could get away w/ posting something like this without backlash — another example of corporate execs too far removed from the lived experience of the workers who make them rich. 15 is the floor and union rights are civil rights!”

For his part, Clark was non-apologetic, returning to Twitter this morning for another volley at Sanders. “All we want to know is why the Sen is one of the most powerful pols in VT for 30+ yrs and their min wage is STILL only $11.75,” he tweeted. “AMZN’s min wage is $15 + great health care from Day 1. The Sen should save his finger wagging lecture until after he actually delivers in his own backyard.”

Related Link: Elon Musk To Bernie Sanders: "I Am Accumulating Resources To Help Make Life Multiplanetary"

(Photo: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr Creative Commons)

 

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Posted-In: Alabama Dave Clark Sen. Bernie Sanders social media twitter UnionNews Media Best of Benzinga

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