Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter on Tuesday to claim that large companies “control” their workers by giving them gift cards to their own brand.
The New York congresswoman, who previously had a spat with Amazon in her own state, called them out by name in a tweet.
“Company money is a tactic powerful corporations use to take over towns & control local workers by paying them in fake ‘currency,’” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “It’s happened all over, from West Virginia coal mines to Puerto Rican sugar plantations. So what about when people get paid in… Amazon gift cards?”
“The freshman congresswoman’s tweet was a comment on a video by the Trillbilly Worker’s Party, a left-wing podcast about the town Whitesburg, Ky.,” the Washington Examiner reports.
The duo from the Trillbillies explained that company money is where corporations make their own currency to pay their workers. The video largely focused on historical examples with member Tom Sexton saying his grandfather was paid with company money until the 1970s.
“And it’s also a really effective means of social control. If you make your employees dependent on the company in every way, whether it’s their mortgage, their wages, the things that they buy from the store, then you have a more effective way of controlling every single aspect of their lives. And then you’ve made really complacent, obedient workers. And that’s what every boss wants,” said Tarence Ray, the other Trillbillies member.
According to the Washington Examiner, the podcast hosts singled out Amazon and said they continue to pay employees with Amazon gift cards.
“A lot of companies are trying to do this. Amazon will offer their employees benefits in Amazon gift cards, for example,” Sexton said via the report.
“Amazon and all these companies now do the exact same thing for the exact same reason, they want you to be alienated. The more they can make you dependent on the company itself, that serves that purpose,” Ray added.
The Democrat congresswoman’s feud with Amazon dates back to at least last year when she championed an effort to prevent the company from building a second headquarters in New York, Politico reported in 2018.
Check it out:
Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is assuming a leadership role in efforts to combat Amazon’s plan to build a new headquarters in Queens, an initial test of the incoming House freshman’s clout in her home city.
The 29-year-old progressive darling headlined a closed-press, standing-room-only meeting of activists in lower Manhattan on Monday, near the site of the Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park. The meeting’s purpose, according to those who attended, was to strategize about how to kill Amazon’s deal to build a headquarters in Long Island City — a deal that proponents say would bring at least 25,000 well-paying jobs in exchange for roughly $3 billion in subsidies.
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And, via CNBC:
Many cities were eager to attract Amazon’s additional headquarters. But Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, recently elected to represent the 14th Congressional District of New York, which borders the district that includes Long Island City, is not excited about the company moving into the neighborhood.
“We’ve been getting calls and outreach from Queens residents all day about this,” she tweeted on Tuesday. “The community’s response? Outrage.”
She continued, “Amazon is a billion-dollar company. The idea that it will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks at a time when our subway is crumbling and our communities need MORE investment, not less, is extremely concerning to residents here.”
Amazon ultimately decided against building in New York and instead decided on a location in Arlington, Virginia. According to the New York Post, Amazon may also be eyeing a location in Manhattan:
After walking away from a deal to build a headquarters on the Queens waterfront in Long Island City, Amazon is back to shopping for office space on Manhattan’s West Side, sources tell The Post.
The tech giant has been in talks with owners of two shiny new skyscrapers located just one block west of Penn Station — the newly built One Manhattan West and its soon-to-be sister project, Two Manhattan West, sources tell The Post.