Here’s What Donald Trump Could Do If He Really Wants to Stop Amazon’s Abuses

Maybe just don’t tell him it would also really help the company’s workers.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

President Trump ramped up his attacks against Amazon on Thursday, tweeting that he has long had “concerns” about the online retailer, even before the election. His apparent beef is that Amazon does not pay enough taxes, (supposedly) uses the US Postal Service at the nation’s expense, and drives other retailers out of business. Today’s tirade spared the Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and is another popular target of Trump’s Twitter attacks. 

The tweet comes a day after Axios reported that the president is “obsessed” with the company, and after Amazon’s stock values dipped slightly. “He’s wondered aloud if there may be any way to go after Amazon with antitrust or competition law,” one source told Axios. The publication notes, “Trump tells people Amazon has gotten a free ride from taxpayers.” 

But, to the surprise of just about no one, Trump is tweeting without taking any action. That said, he could do quite a lot to stop some of Amazon’s well-documented abuses—such as grueling conditions for warehouse workers—and help its more than 500,000 employees.  Lucky for him, labor unions like the Service Employees International Union have already thought about how the retail behemoth’s power could be checked. Here, they tell Mother Jones about what they’d like to see from Trump on Amazon:

Despite agreeing with some of Trump’s concerns about Amazon, the SEIU doesn’t really expect Trump will follow through. Erin Sroka, communications director at SEIU Local 6 in Seattle, where Amazon’s headquarters are located, says they “don’t trust Trump to do well by workers.”

“He is very much pro-business,” says Greg Ramirez, SEIU6 director of internal organizing, who is working to unionize about 800 contracted security officers at Amazon headquarters. “And when you are pro-business, a lot of times, you don’t tend to be pro-worker.”

The union also isn’t holding its breath Trump will take action.

“I think until then,” Sroka, says, “it’s just empty tweets.” 

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up to $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate