Amazon’s Jeff Bezos wins ITUC’s World’s Worst Boss Poll
Other entrants include Wal-Mart, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Koch and Samsung
On Thursday 22nd May, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, was announced as winner of the World’s Worst Boss award at the 3rd International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) World Congress in Berlin. The announcement was made as the ITUC representing 180 million workers, met in Berlin with over 1500 delegates from 161 countries.
Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the ITUC, said while there are many CEOs which have bad track records, nine stood out in 2014 as deserving of inclusion in the first poll of the World’s Worst Bosses by the global union.
“Corporate power is out of control, it is cowering governments with threats of capital flight. The greed of the 1% is of more interest to our governments than the 99%.
“We decided we would start exposing some of the elements of the worst boss phenomena - undermining democracy, undermining workers’ rights, supporting slavery and kafala.
“Amazon operating in Germany treats its workers as if they are robots. The company makes no secret that within just a few years they will replace workers with robots. A rich American corporation operating globally with disdain for dignity, for rights for working people.
"Jeff Bezos represents the inhumanity of employers who are promoting the American corporate model. The message to big business is back off, you are not going to mistreat workers,” said Sharan Burrow.
Over twenty thousand votes were cast for nine bosses, chosen for their abuses of workers’ rights, along with other activities which undermine the interests of working people. From tax avoidance to corporate bullying or attempts to influence public opinion, the rogues' gallery of worst bosses represents the worst in global corporate excess.
Amazon has been at the forefront of tax avoidance scams and difficult working conditions. Warehouse workers walk as much as 15 miles (24 km) a day and ambulances regularly wait outside facilities to collect workers. In Germany warehouse workers from the Verdi union have been fighting for better wages and conditions.
“Workers at Amazon distribution centres are required to wear digital arm mounted terminals that monitor their every move. There are no agreed protocols about breaks and speed, and a culture of bullying and harassment is rife. Staff are reprimanded just for speaking to one another or even pausing to catch their breath,” said Burrow.
Dishonorable mentions were awarded to Mr X from a major airline and Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corp.
The CEO of Qatar Airways blamed unions for global unemployment in an interview with Arabian Business (May 2013). “If you did not have unions you wouldn’t have this jobless problem in the western world,” he said.
The World’s Worst Boss poll included:
- C. Douglas McMillon, CEO Wal-Mart Stores
- Jamie Dimon, CEO JP Morgan Chase
- Loyd Blankfein, CEO Goldman Sachs Group
- Charles Koch, CEO Koch Industries
- Lee Kun-Hee, Chairman Samsung Group
- Ivan Glasenberg, CEO Glencore Xstrata
Ethical Consumer on Google+