Amazon has announced it is raising its minimum wage in the US to $15, following sustained pressure from Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Amazon said the salary increase, which is more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25, will come into effect on November 1.
It will impact more than 250,000 Amazon employees, plus more than 100,000 seasonal staff who work for Amazon over the holiday season.
“We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead,” said CEO Jeff Bezos. “We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.”
Jay Carney, senior vice president of Amazon’s global corporate affairs, 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.
“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.”
This decision follows sustained pressure from Senator Bernie Sanders, who has attacked Amazon for how little it pays its workers, and introduced a bill in September entitled “Stop BEZOS,” which would tax large companies whose low-wage employees rely on government assistance.
This is developing.