Today’s Senate hearing got a little spicy after former Amazon worker, Chris Smalls challenged the e-commerce giant’s labor practices. Earlier this year, the former rapper made history for organizing the company’s first-ever labor union.
The hearing began with South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham who questioned the leader’s motives and accused him of the “demonization of individual companies.” On the heels of a successful union vote in Staten Island last month, Smalls encouraged the Republican senator to listen to workers.
Graham didn’t only fire shots at Smalls, he also took a moment to come for fellow Sen.Bernie Sanders.
“Every time I turn around, you’re having a hearing about ‘anybody who makes money is bad,'” Lindsey told Sanders.
During the hearing Smalls noted that it may be in the “best interest” of Graham to listen to what’s actually happening at Amazon. He also cautioned him not limit the matter to a left versus right issue.
“I think it’s in your best interest to realize that it’s not a left or right thing. It’s not a Democrat or Republican thing,” said Smalls. “It’s a workers’ issue, and we’re the ones that are suffering…you should listen, because we do represent your constituents as well.”
As a voice of the people Smalls showed up sporting a New York Yankees fitted hat along with a letterman jacket with the phrase “Eat the Rich” stitched across the back. He reiterated how workers are the backbone of companies like Amazon.
“You forgot that the people are the ones who make these companies operate, and when we’re not protected, the process for when we hold these companies accountable is not working for us, then that’s the reason why we’re here today,” he expressed.
Vice President Kamala Harris and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh also met with Smalls during his trip to Washington D.C. as he continues to advocate for Amazon workers across the nation.
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