A United Nations-appointed independent expert on extreme poverty and human rights, Olivier De Schutter, has sent a letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, and DoorDash CEO Tony Xu, asking them to respond "to reports of inadequate pay, aggressive union-busting tactics, and the misclassification of workers as 'independent contractors,' intentionally depriving them of traditional employment benefits such as minimum wage guarantees.
“I am extremely disturbed that workers in some of the world's most profitable companies – in one of the richest countries on earth – are struggling to afford to eat or pay their rent,” De Schutter said. “Multi-billion-dollar companies should be setting the standard for working conditions and wages, not violating the human rights of their workers by failing to pay them a decent wage … Jobs are supposed to provide a pathway out of poverty, yet in all three companies the business model seems to be to shift operating costs onto the public by relying on government benefits to supplement miserably low wages."
And, De Schutter said, "It appears that the US is turning a blind eye to the union-busting activities of its most powerful corporations, allowing them to steamroll workers into accepting poverty wages while corporate revenues soar … Businesses have a responsibility to respect internationally recognised human rights, including the right to a living wage and to join a union without fear of reprisal."
- KC's View:
If I were these companies, I'd be more worried if an organization less feckless than the UN were going after me.
That said, this isn't a good look.
(As in all these cases, I'd love to see De Schutter's Amazon Prime, Walmart+, and DoorDash transaction records. Just curious.)