Nancy Pelosi is doing what California Democrats do best – telling private companies how they should run their business.
Following a bruising attack piece in The New York Times over the weekend, the online retail giant Amazon has been facing criticism for its “Darwinian” corporate culture, and Pelosi seems willing to ride to the rescue of employees who feel pressured to overachieve.
The San Francisco Democrat and House minority leader visited the Amazon campus in Seattle on Tuesday to tout the Equality Act – which is designed to expand worker protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees – because of the company’s ongoing support for the bill. She claimed that the allegations made in The Times article, if true, point to the need for more “employee protections” and government regulation.
“This subject is front and center for us. And I believe that it will be now for Amazon,” she said when asked about the article, according to the Associated Press.
The Times article alleged that management within the company pressured employees to compete with each other, and created a stressful work environment by pushing out workers who didn’t conform to the cutthroat mentality.
Not everyone agreed with The Times’ assessment.
“Amazon will work you to death, either you are gone after two years, or you stay forever because you love working that hard,” one former employee of Amazon’s cloud business told Fortune magazine.
“Amazon is a culture of self-driven workaholics,” she added. Workers who have that attitude, she said, thrive in the company.
But apparently, a culture of self-driven workaholics is unacceptable to Democrats like Pelosi, who said Amazon executives have told her they’re looking into the issue.
“If any of those practices had taken place, they won’t be taking place anymore,” Pelosi said, according to a local NBC affiliate. “I think Jeff Bezos has said it’s not the company he knows.”
Right. Because Amazon became the largest online retailer by making sure managers were coddled?
Employees who feel Amazon is engaged in discrimination or illegal business practices already have legal recourse under the law. Merely feeling uncomfortable with a high-pressure corporate climate, however, really shouldn’t require any sort of government intervention or new regulation.
But, then again, to a California Democrat almost any reason to expand government’s oversight of a private corporation sounds like a good idea.