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Democratic Senators Condemn Amazon Over 'Intolerable' Warehouse Conditions And 'Dismal' Safety Records

Democratic Senators Condemn Amazon Over 'Intolerable' Warehouse Conditions And 'Dismal' Safety Records
Joe Raedle/Getty Images; Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

A group of United States Senators sent a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos taking exception with working conditions for the online giant's employees.

The 15 Senators include six current and former presidential candidates.

The letter addresses investigative journalism's efforts by The Atlantic and Reveal from the Center for investigative Reporting which found high rates of worker injuries. They cited the company's quota policies as driving workers to take safety shortcuts to meet company demands.

The Senators also cited the company's accounting for employee time down to monitoring bathroom breaks and requiring employees to "clock out" to use the restroom.

The group wrote:

"Any practice that puts profits before worker safety is unacceptable."

Among those signing it were California Senator Kamala Harris, New Jersey's Cory Booker, New York's Kirsten Gillibrand, Maryland's Chris Van Hollen, Hawaii's Mazie Hirono, Oregon's Jeff Merkley, Massachusetts' Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren, Connecticut's Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, Vermont's Bernie Sanders, Minnesota's Tina Smith, Illinois' Dick Durbin, Ohio's Sherrod Brown and Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin.

In response, Amazon's PR head Jay Carney did an OpEd for The New York Times.

But almost immediately it got fact-checked.

Public opinion seems to be firmly on the workers' side however.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is either the richest or second richest person in the world, depending on your source.

Some sources claim Bernard Arnault of luxury brands LVMH (Louis Vuitton-Moët-Hennessy) surpassed Bezos in January.

For many, Bezos' own wealth makes the poor working conditions of the employees who helped make and maintain his fortune an especially difficult pill to swallow.