Over 100 people protested the annual Amazon shareholder meeting and some people bought a single share to attend to get CEO Jeff Bezos ‘s ear. They were calling on Amazon to pay more state taxes and to address working deaths at some of their USA factories.
The rally mainly was organized to call attention to the paltry sales tax that Amazon pays in the Seattle area where they are based. “This is part of a national effort to go after some of the worst corporate tax dodgers,” said John Sellers, founder of an organization called The Other 98 Percent. “Amazon is one of our hometown corporations, so we’re saying to them, ‘You should pay your fair share.’ ”
The Seattle Times said that Amazon has come under public scrutiny for its treatment of workers after newspapers, including the Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call and The Seattle Times, revealed harsh conditions at some of its U.S. warehouses. The Allentown stories described temperatures above 100 degrees last summer in Pennsylvania. The CEO then showed pictures of a new air conditioner being airlifted to the factory and said it would be retrofitted to incorporate better worker conditions.
At the meeting, Bezos also reported that 145,000 e-books can be borrowed free on its website and the company saw an overall growth of 41% in 2011.