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Amazon invites Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to 'see for yourself' after she alleges 'dehumanising conditions' for workers

Andrew Buncombe

Amazon has thrown down the gauntlet to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, inviting the congresswoman to visit one of its facilities after she claimed the tech giant had created “dehumanising conditions” for its workers.

The 29-year-old congresswoman was among those who celebrated after Amazon announced this week it was pulling out of plans to open what it termed a second headquarters in New York City.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez, who represents the city’s 14th district, which is close to the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens where the facility was to be based, had opposed the $3bn in tax incentives the state and city had offered the e-commerce giant, headed by Jeff Bezos.

“Anything is possible: today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbours defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez, a newly-elected Democrat, wrote on Twitter after the company’s announcement.

Amazon said it was not proceeding because it had not had “positive, collaborative” relationships with state and local officials.

Responding to one commenter on Twitter who claimed Amazon was a “strict performance-heavy organisational structure”, she said: “Is that culture of “strict performance” why Amazon workers have to urinate in bottles & work while on food stamps to meet “targets?”

She added: “‘Performance’ shouldn’t come at the cost of dehumanising conditions. That’s why we got rid of sweatshops.”

Amazon disputed the claims and invited the congresswoman to visit for herself.

Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations, said on Twitter: “@aoc these claims simply aren’t true. We are proud of our jobs with excellent pay ($15 min), benefits from day 1, & lots of other benefits like our Career Choice pre-paid educational programmes. Why don’t you come take a tour & see for yourself...we’d love to have you!”

Ms Ocasio-Cortez did not immediately respond to a question as to whether or not she will take up the invitation to visit.