US Senator to introduce Bill forcing large employers to pay living wage US Senator to introduce Bill forcing large employers to pay living wage

US Senator to introduce Bill forcing large employers to pay living wage
06 Sep 2018

US Senator Bernie Sanders is reportedly set to introduce a new tax Bill that, if passed, would require mid-sized and large employers to pay a 100% tax on the federal assistance received by their employees.

Sanders told the Washington Post that he plans to introduce the Bill in September. The aim, he said, is to force corporations with more than 500 staff to pay a living wage, cutting US$150 billion per year from the amount spent on federal assistance programmes for low-wage workers.

Amazon has been singled out for particular attention. According to Dealerscope, if passed, an Amazon employee who receives, say, US$300 in food stamps would trigger a US$300 tax for Amazon. A New Food Economy report found that thousands of Amazon employees rely on the government's Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program in order to make ends meet. As many as one in three Amazon employees in Arizona and one in 10 in Pennsylvania and Ohio receive food stamps. 

“Amazon has been less than forthcoming with information about their employment practices," said Sanders. "What we do know is that Amazon’s median employee pay is only US$28,446 — 9% less than the industry average and well below what constitutes a living wage in the United States."

In May, according to PJ Media, Sanders posted a video online, which included news clips showing chief executive Jeff Bezos making in 10 seconds what the average Amazon employee earns in a year.

Amazon replied: "The average hourly wage for a full-time associate in our fulfilment centres, including cash, stock, and incentive bonuses, is over US$15 per hour before overtime."

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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US Senator Bernie Sanders is reportedly set to introduce a new tax Bill that, if passed, would require mid-sized and large employers to pay a 100% tax on the federal assistance received by their employees.

Sanders told the Washington Post that he plans to introduce the Bill in September. The aim, he said, is to force corporations with more than 500 staff to pay a living wage, cutting US$150 billion per year from the amount spent on federal assistance programmes for low-wage workers.

Amazon has been singled out for particular attention. According to Dealerscope, if passed, an Amazon employee who receives, say, US$300 in food stamps would trigger a US$300 tax for Amazon. A New Food Economy report found that thousands of Amazon employees rely on the government's Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program in order to make ends meet. As many as one in three Amazon employees in Arizona and one in 10 in Pennsylvania and Ohio receive food stamps. 

“Amazon has been less than forthcoming with information about their employment practices," said Sanders. "What we do know is that Amazon’s median employee pay is only US$28,446 — 9% less than the industry average and well below what constitutes a living wage in the United States."

In May, according to PJ Media, Sanders posted a video online, which included news clips showing chief executive Jeff Bezos making in 10 seconds what the average Amazon employee earns in a year.

Amazon replied: "The average hourly wage for a full-time associate in our fulfilment centres, including cash, stock, and incentive bonuses, is over US$15 per hour before overtime."

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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Disney boosts minimum pay for workers relying on food banks

Two thirds of US workers struggle to pay rent on two-bed apartment

Low wage growth in Australia could have election impact

 

 

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