Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who on Tuesday completed an 11-minute trip into space onboard a rocket built by his company Blue Origin, is now facing a backlash on social media for "thanking Amazon workers for paying for the trip." He was addressing a conference after his brief trip into space and said "I want to thank every Amazon employee, and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for all this.”
Soon after his statement, people on the internet shared reports claiming inhumane working conditions and lack of breaks that e-commerce giant workers are forced to work under.
Former secretary of labour and a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, Robert Reich said the Amazon workers want what they deserve and Bezos to thank them.
US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote, "Yes, Amazon workers did pay for this."
She added, "Amazon customers are paying for it with Amazon abusing their market power to hurt small business."
"Jeff Bezos forgot to thank all the hardworking Americans who actually paid taxes to keep this country running while he and Amazon paid nothing," wrote US Senator Elizabeth Warren on the micro-blogging site.
Meanwhile, Representative Earl Blumenauer has proposed legislation to tax space travel for non-scientific research purposes.
Bezos, who stepped down as the chief executive officer (CEO) of e-Amazon earlier this month, wants to focus on side projects, including his space exploration company Blue Origin.
In the past, several Amazon workers have shared details of harrowing work conditions, lack of break times and and unsafe working conditions. The workers have alleged that earlier this year, an effort to unionise workers at a warehouse in Alabama failed. They said Amazon broke the law with some of its anti-union activity.
Meanwhile, the Amazon founder said that he used $1 billion from Amazon stock to financed the rocket company. Jeff became the second billionaire after Richard Branson to complete a trip to space in their rockets.