San Francisco: Amazon.com on Tuesday said it was raising the minimum wage for all its US employees to $15 an hour, starting from November 1. The move comes after the company faced criticism about the pay and benefits for its warehouse workers. The new minimum wage will cover more than 2,50,000 current employees and 1,00,000 seasonal holiday employees.
The tech giant said it will also start lobbying for an increase in the federal minimum wage, currently at $7.25 an hour, Efe news reported. “We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead,” Jeff Bezos, Chief Executive, Amazon, said in a statement.
“We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.” Amazon’s sheer size and market dominance — it recently became the second US company to notch a market value of $1 trillion — has made it a favoured corporate target of politicians on the left and right. The company has been criticised over the way it treats its workers and how much it pays in taxes, as well as its impact on the broader economy and traditional retailers. Senator Bernie Sanders recently introduced a bill aimed at taxing big companies whose employees rely on federal benefits to make ends meet. He specifically targeted Bezos by contrasting his vast personal wealth with the compensation of the company’s lowest-paid workers. (IANS)