Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren demand answers from Amazon over employee surveillance allegations

Four Democratic senators sent a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

10/18/2020 11:01:00 AM

A coalition of Democratic senators sent a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, pressing the company for answers over allegations that it 'unethically' tracks and monitors its employees to suppress efforts to form a union.

Four Democratic senators sent a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times via REX via ShutterstockA coalition of Democratic senators sent a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, pressing the company for answers over allegations that it"unethically" tracks and monitors its employees to suppress efforts to form a union.

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Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) implored Bezos to explain recent reports that the company was investing heavily in technology to track union organization efforts, specifically citing a

.Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images, FILEIn this May 1, 2020, file photo, workers protest against the failure from their employers to provide adequate protections in the workplace of the Amazon delivery hub on National May Day Walkout/Sickout in Hawthorne, Calif.

In this May 1, 2020, file photo, workers protest against the failure from their employers to provide adequate protections in the workplace of the Amazon delivery hub on National May Day Walkout/Sickout in Hawthorne, Calif."The fact that Amazon has decided to heavily invest in systems to retaliate against freedom of expression about unsafe and unhealthy working conditions, and to refer to organizing and workers' rights mobilization efforts as threats against the company equal to those posed by hate groups and terrorism, is unacceptable," the senators wrote."Labor organizing campaigns are legally protected activity."

MORE: Jeff Bezos breaks new record as his net worth tops $200 billionCiting media reports, the senators accused Amazon of infiltrating private social media groups created by Amazon employees to track potential discussions of unionization, actively monitoring internal listservs related to employee activism, hiring intelligence analysts to track labor organization efforts and more.

Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images, FILEIn this May 1, 2020, file photo, workers protest against the failure from their employers to provide adequate protections in the workplace of the Amazon delivery hub on National May Day Walkout/Sickout in Hawthorne, Calif.

In this May 1, 2020, file photo, workers protest against the failure from their employers to provide adequate protections in the workplace of the Amazon delivery hub on National May Day Walkout/Sickout in Hawthorne, Calif."Each of these reports is deeply troubling, and taken together, they suggest a pattern of significant abuse of workers and their rights," the lawmakers wrote to the

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.Adam J. Dewey/NurPhoto via ZUMA press via NewscomBernie Sanders holds a campaign rally in support for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris at Macomb Community College in Warren, Mich., on Oct. 5, 2020.Bernie Sanders holds a campaign rally in support for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris at Macomb Community College in Warren, Mich., on Oct. 5, 2020.

They added that"these actions are all the more shocking in the context that nearly 20,000 of your employees contracted the coronavirus," saying it is"deeply concerning that Amazon has prioritized tracking workers who would look to improve their working conditions over addressing the underlying health and safety concerns that those workers face."

The senators demanded that Amazon respond to more than a dozen questions by Nov. 1.An Amazon spokesperson told ABC News that it respects employees' rights"to join, form or not to join a labor union or other lawful organization of their own selection, without fear of retaliation, intimidation or harassment."

"Across Amazon, including in our operations facilities, we place enormous value on having daily conversations with each associate and work to make sure direct engagement with our employees is a strong part of our work culture," the spokesperson added.

In regard to the monitoring allegations, the spokesperson said the company had found one group within its driver team"aggregating information from closed groups" but added"that approach doesn't meet our standards, and they are no longer doing this as we have other ways for drivers to give us their feedback."

Read more: ABC News »

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sent a letter. how nice. next time, indict him for a few hundred felonies I would very much would like to have Amazon and Jeff Bezos’ tax subsidies revoked come 2021 amazonisunamericancompany Four year democratic party tantrum does not deserve a lollipop! “Not our president”, Russia investgation hit job, and a Presidential impeachment based on VP-Biden and his sons possible corrupt involvement in Ukraine. “Political swamp thing” versus the President of the people.

Like this is surprising. The Democrats trying to create a facade Bezos is a big monetary contributor to the left, this is smokes and mirrors Contact tracing technology? Follow/retweet USWBat 🦇🔦- the all female crew of the steelworkers fighting for Biden / Harris and shining a light on democracy! 🇺🇸 GoodTrouble2020 USWBatLight

Time to Unionize Brothers!!! The Democratic need to stay out peoples businesses....again trying to push their agenda. BIG COMPANIES OUT OF CONTROL! Of course Bezos doesn't want a union SenSanders ewarren are idiots Come on Jeff. You really can't spend all that money for the next 10 generations. TaxTheBillionaires TaxTheBillionaires EndPoverty

Have Bernie Sanders or Liz Warren ever worked an actual job? Have either one of them ever started a business from scratch and created jobs? And we the people have some questions for them, such as; How did they both become so fabulously wealthy on a civil servants salary? Unions are responsible for many of the good things we have in the workplace today including weekends, child labor laws, break times, safety, minimum wage, and a host of other things that many of you may be taking for granted.

Amazon needs to be regulated given its unethical practices. Also the company needs to start paying its fair share of taxes on federal, state and local levels. It is now one of the major polluters with all of its trucks on the road. Maybe they should you know, pass a law making it illegal if they’re so concerned.

Wow horrible

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