Amazon has raised the minimum wage for all its United States workers, including subsidiaries like Whole Foods, to $15 USD an hour, effective November 1. Over 250,000 employees and 100,000 seasonal employees will be affected by the new announcement introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders originally as a legislation meant to combat “corporate welfare.”
The bill is entitled Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies, BEZOS, for short, alluding to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. “We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead,” said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in the announcement. “We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.”
Amazon said it will also start advocating for an increase to the federal minimum wage, stating “we believe $7.25 is too low. We would look to Congress to decide the parameters of a new, higher federal minimum wage.” In response to the announcement, Sanders stated: “Today I want to give credit where credit is due. What Mr. Bezos has done today is not only enormously important for Amazon’s hundreds of thousands of employees, it could well be, and I think it will be, a shot heard around the world.”
In other news, Facebook has announced a new head of Instagram.