Retailers Advocate for USPS Bailout and Amazon VP Resigns
Advertising Campaign to save Postal Service Begins
A coalition of online retailers started an advertising campaign on Wednesday to support a government bailout of USPS. The group, backed by Amazon, plans to spend more than $2 million on the campaign.
This comes as President Trump has stated that the USPS needs to raise their prices to avoid bankruptcy. The campaign argues that raising USPS prices would be a huge loss for small businesses.
USPS was already in a precarious position before the coronavirus pandemic. They’ve continued to experience a sharp decline in volume since. Some estimate that USPS would need to increase their prices by 400% to avoid bankruptcy.
While the ads promote USPS’s role in small businesses, they are being funded by retail giants. Many of these retailers depend on USPS for delivery, and would likely experience dramatic disruptions to their supply chains if USPS raises rates or goes bankrupt.
The fate of the postal service remains unclear, but what is clear is that there is a sharp divide over the role and importance of USPS.
Amazon VP Quits over Handling of Protests
A prominent VP at Amazon announced his resignation via his blog. The VP, Tim Bray, cited Amazon’s mishandling of labor protests as the cause.
Bray is referring to the firing of Christian Smalls, who led a protest in March of Amazon workers at a warehouse in Staten Island. He also mentions the firings of Maren Costa and Emily Cunningham, who circulated a petition that called for better sick leave policies and hazard pay.
“Firing whistleblowers isn’t just a side-effect of macroeconomic forces, nor is it intrinsic to the function of free markets,” Bray wrote. “It’s evidence of a vein of toxicity running through the company culture. I choose neither to serve nor drink that poison.”
Amazon has made headlines for its labor relations multiple times during the coronavirus pandemic. It has experienced a wave of protests in many of its warehouses, along with calls for better treatment of its employees.
Amazon has taken steps to protect workers from getting coronavirus, such as taking the temperatures of employees and enforcing social distancing, along with increasing its minimum wage. But for many, these actions are not enough.