Amazon, America’s second-largest private employer, announced a boost of its minimum wage to $15, effective November 1, affecting more than 250,000 employees and 100,000 seasonal workers, according to a statement released Tuesday morning.
Full-time, part-time, and seasonal holiday workers, along with associates employed by temp agencies, are included among those who will now enjoy the new $15 minimum wage.
With this change, Amazon has more than doubled the federal minimum wage for its employees.
The federal minimum wage stands at $7.25.
“We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead,” said the wealthiest man in modern history, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, in the statement.
“We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us,” he added.
“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 on Amazon’s corporate blog.
“We intend to advocate for a minimum wage increase that will have a profound impact on the lives of tens of millions of people and families across this country.”
Amazon had recently come under fire for its wages and questionable working conditions at some warehouse sites.
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Amazon, which employs more than 575,000 workers worldwide, had recently come under fire for its wages and questionable working conditions at some warehouse sites.
President Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) were among the company’s fiercest critics, with the latter introducing the “Stop BEZOS Act” in an effort to get the government to recoup money spent on welfare programs for which Amazon employees were eligible, The Washington Post reported.
Bezos owns The Washington Post.
Whole Foods, which Amazon also owns, has stores in 42 states and is the ninth-largest food retailer.
Whole Foods’ workers are also included in today’s minimum wage hike.
Responses to the announcement on social media have included appreciation, back-handed compliments, skepticism regarding the company’s motivation for the change — and much more.
See these tweets — then check out the video below for more on Amazon’s pay hike:
I work at Amazon (in the Seattle corporate offices, not warehouse or delivery). It’s about time. We’re all thrilled. Here folks are invaluable to the success of the company. When one succeeds, we all succeed.
— Annik Stahl (@curledANDqueued) October 2, 2018
What will be done about the horrific working conditions reported by various publications over the past few months? Raising min wage is great, but not if the demands on productivity and poor working conditions stay the same.
— GS (@gsax1227) October 2, 2018
To all of those still bashing @SenSanders at every turn… I highly doubt Amazon would have done this without the pressure from Sanders. Most don't like being called out but he didn't give up, he continued the fight for the average American and still is.
— m&mjunkie (@mmjunkie) October 2, 2018
Hmmm, I may renew my Prime membership after all. #LivingWage
— MemphisMamaBear (@back2memphis) October 2, 2018
Watch this video:
Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to LifeZette.