400+ lawmakers from 34 countries back ‘Make Amazon Pay’ campaign

Platform Industry News: Amazon

More than 400 lawmakers from 34 countries have signed a letter to Amazon.com manager Jeff Bezos backing a campaign that asserts that the technology giant has “dodged and dismissed… debts to workers, societies, and the planet,” organisers said.

The “Make Amazon Pay” campaign was started on November the 27th – the yearly Black Friday shopping bonanza – by a coalition of over 50 businesses, together with demands including improvements to working conditions and complete tax transparency.

The letter’s signatories include US Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, former UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and Vice President of the European Parliament Heidi Hautala, co-convenors Progressive International and UNI Global Union said.

“We urge you to act decisively to change your policies and priorities to do right by your workers, their communities, and our planet,” the letter stated.

Amazon, the world’s biggest retailer, has faced criticism for its own tax practices before, including from the UK and the EU. It states its gains remain low given retail is a highly competitive, low margin industry and it invests heavily.

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It said on Thursday that while it approved scrutiny from policymakers, a number of the matters raised in the letter stemmed from misleading assertions.

“Amazon has a strong track record of supporting our employees, our customers, and our communities, including providing safe working conditions, competitive wages and great benefits,” it said, adding it had been “paying billions of dollars in taxes globally.”

Amazon grew rapidly through the pandemic, with sales soaring as constraints to protect against the spread of the coronavirus closed bricks-and-mortar shops and sent consumers online.

Authorities worldwide are contemplating tougher rules for big technology to assuage concerns about rivalry.

The European Union, for example, last month charged Amazon with damaging retail contest, alleging it used its size, power and data to obtain an unfair advantage over smaller retailers that promote on its online platform.

Amazon disagreed with the EU assertions, saying it represented less than 1% of the international retail market and there were larger retailers in every country in which it functioned.

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The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Paul Sandle. Editing by Nick Zieminski.

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