On Tuesday the company announced that it is raising the minimum wage it pays all U.S. workers to $15 an hour. The new wage will come into effect on November 1, 2018. Amazon claims its new minimum wage will benefit more than 250,000 Amazon employees. The company also says the $15 minimum wage is not just for full-time workers, but all part-time and seasonal employees, of which 100,000 will see an increase in their minimum wage. The new minimum wage also applies to workers at Whole Foods and all other Amazon subsidiaries.
Announcing the move, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said:
“We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead. We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.”
But the company isn’t stopping with raising its own minimum wage. Amazon also announced that it will be lobbying Congress to raise the federal minimum wage, Jay Carney, senior VP of Amazon Global Corporate Affairs, said:
“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.”