James O'Brien clashes with caller defending Jeff Bezos' immense fortune

5 August 2022, 13:15

By Seán Hickey

This caller decides to phone in to James O'Brien to declare that critics of Jeff Bezos are guilty of the 'politics of envy'.

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Workers at an Amazon warehouse have staged a protest in a dispute over a pay rise of 35p per hour. The GMB union said hundreds of employees in Tilbury, Essex, stopped work on Thursday after being given the measly rise.

Shabir in Edinburgh phoned in to James O'Brien to declare any criticism of the proposal "sounds like the politics of envy."

James couldn't help but laugh at the claim, but the caller maintained his point.

Read more: Amazon staff strike over 35p-an-hour pay rise and slam company for 'undermining' workers' rights

"The Bezoses of this world, they've created these companies from nothing."

James clapped back, noting that Jeff Bezos "doesn't even need to give up any of his personal wealth" to give striking workers what they're looking for.

Read more: James O'Brien bewildered as he Googles Jeff Bezos' wealth compared to Amazon workers

"Some of the poorest paid people in the country are asking that their ability to pay their bills stays the same as it is now ,while they're some of the poorest paid people in the country."

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"It's not the fault of the employer that inflation is where it is" the caller replied, arguing that "if you increase wages too much, you will put a lot of businesses out of business."

"I'm not trying to defend Amazon" he went on, before James reminded him he "phoned in to criticise people criticising this specific model!"

The caller continued to defend the third-richest person in the world: "What has one man's wealth got to do with his employees?"

He then told James that if Amazon workers aren't impressed by the pay offer, "there's no shortage of jobs at the moment."

"Their number one priority is their shareholders. Without shareholders, there are no employees."

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