January 16, 2018

10% of Amazon employees in Ohio are on food stamps

A new report from nonprofit group Policy Matters Ohio has found that some 700 Amazon employees in Ohio (about 10% of the company’s entire workforce in the state) receive assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Why are employees at one of the most powerful companies of the century still struggling to get by? At […]

A new report from nonprofit group Policy Matters Ohio has found that some 700 Amazon employees in Ohio (about 10% of the company’s entire workforce in the state) receive assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Why are employees at one of the most powerful companies of the century still struggling to get by?

At the root of this: temporary workers

2 years ago, Ohio won a bid for 2 Amazon fulfillment centers — and since then, the e-commerce company has gotten $125m in tax breaks and cash grants. In exchange, the state figured it would get thousands of decent-paying jobs.

Though Amazon pays full-time workers in these centers around $15-per-hour, they also rely heavily on a large force of “temporary workers” who are not assigned enough hours to support themselves without government assistance.

What happened to the techno-utopian dream?

One of the core beliefs of most prominent technologists is that technological advancements should ultimately work toward “solving” societal ills and inequalities. Bezos himself has spoken of the coming “golden era” of tech.

Amazon has not only pioneered major advancements in tech, but has leveraged them to get millions in tax subsidies and propel founder Jeff Bezos to a net worth of over $100B.

Unfortunately, in the case of Ohio, they’ve failed to pass down these benefits to its wider employee base.

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