Amazon.com Inc on Tuesday raised its minimum wage to $15 per hour for all US employees including full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees, starting November 1.
The increased raise comes at a time when the “Fight for Fifteen” movement — a union-led push for a $15 minimum wage — has been gaining traction in cities across the country. Amazon, which became the second company to cross $1 trillion market value last month, on average paid employees $28,446 last year. The company is led by Jeff Bezos, who is the world’s richest man with a net worth of $150 billion, according to Forbes.
“We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead,” Bezos said. “We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.”
Retailer Target Corp raised its minimum hourly wage last year to $11 and promised to raise it to $15 an hour by the end of 2020, while the world’s largest retailer Walmart raised its minimum wage to $11 an hour earlier this year.
Workers have been protesting against fast food chains like McDonald’s Corp and demanding wage increases since 2012.
US Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-described Democratic socialist, has been vocal about the pay disparity at US corporations and has proposed a bill aimed at making large corporations pay workers more.
The new minimum wage will benefit more than 250,000 employees in the US, as well as over 100,000 seasonal employees who will be hired at Amazon sites across the country this holiday, the company said in a statement.
“We will be working to gain Congressional support for an increase in the federal minimum wage. The current rate of $7.25 was set nearly a decade ago,” said Jay Carney, senior vice president of Amazon global corporate affairs.
Retailer Target Corp raised its minimum hourly wage last year to $11 and promised to raise it to $15 an hour by the end of 2020 while the world’s largest retailer and private employer Walmart raised its minimum wage to $11 an hour earlier this year
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