More Amazon workers have donated to Bernie Sanders than Barack Obama over the past 14 years — and it could provide a boost for the Democrat’s war on the tech company.
That’s the finding of a detailed study on the political donations of Amazon employees by GovPredict, a political data firm with backing from the prestigious Silicon Valley tech incubator Y Combinator. The company combs through campaign filings to find details of donations.
GovPredict found that 275 Amazon workers have provided funding for Sanders since 2004. Hillary Clinton is the only politician to have received more backing from Amazon staff, with 310 employees contributing to her cause. Barack Obama had support from 171 Amazon employees.
However, when you look at the amount donated to US politicians by Amazon staff, Sanders was in fourth place. Below is a chart produced by GovPredict, showing Clinton leading the way with $610,805 in donations from employees of the Seattle-based tech firm.
The findings could be a boost for Sanders’ campaign against Amazon’s working standards. The lawmaker introduced a bill, the Stop BEZOS Act, earlier this month in a bid to increase worker pay at large companies like Amazon and Walmart. The aim is to force employers to increase wages to a level at which workers do not need to rely on programs like food stamps or housing assistance.
GovPredict’s findings reflect political donations from every level at Amazon, including those who work in the company’s warehouses, who are among those Sanders is campaigning for. It shows that Sanders’ ideas and ideology resonate with certain sections of Amazon employees.
Business Insider contacted Amazon for comment. The firm fired back at Sanders in a blog post last month, calling his claims about working conditions “inaccurate and misleading.” It goes on to tout its pay and benefits, as well as the working conditions in its warehouses — areas that Sanders has repeatedly criticised.
More broadly, GovPredict found that more than 90% of the political donations made by Amazon employees went to Democrat candidates and causes over the past 14 years. The political party has received $6.7 million from Amazon staff, while $731,576 was given to the Republicans, including $17,436 for President Donald Trump.
The findings were almost identical to similar research GovPredict carried out on Alphabet’s political donations, meaning a picture is emerging on big tech’s liberal leanings.
The Amazon research was presented in a blog post by GovPredict CEO Emil Pitkin. Pitkin is a former Harvard graduate and launched GovPredict at the Y Combinator demo day in 2015. The company is also said to have $120,000 in seed funding from Y Combinator, which has backed startups such as Airbnb, Reddit, and Stripe.
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