Amazon raised its minimum wage about five months back up to $15/hour. It’s what some call a living wage. The move was not exactly voluntary but Amazon is running with it and trying to own it. They issued a challenge to other big retailers saying it will be the best for everyone to follow suit.
“Today I challenge our top retail competitors (you know who you are!) to match our employee benefits and our $15 minimum wage,” Bezos said in a letter to shareholders filed Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “Do it! Better yet, go to $16 and throw the gauntlet back at us. It’s a kind of competition that will benefit everyone.”
“In the shareholder’s letter, Bezos said that higher wages is an investment in employees that ultimately benefit the business. But he said Amazon’s decision was made “because it seemed like the right thing to do.”
Walmart was quick to respond and inform the public just how shady Amazon is in the process.
“Hey retail competitors out there (you know who you are ) how about paying your taxes?”
They also linked an article from Yahoo that pointed out that Amazon was paying $0 on 11.2 Billion dollars. So it looks like they can definitely afford the raise.
Amazon’s pay hike was not an act of charity or an investment into their employees, it was due to public pressure.
“This really comes down to public pressure, which has been years in development. Amazon was a target if you look at the bill Bernie Sanders introduced to the Senate... It was called Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies, otherwise known as the Stop BEZOS Act. The filed bill targets employers whose workers made little enough to be eligible for public assistance for additional taxes.
The Amazon press release quoted Bezos: “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.”
Listened to our critics… more like decided they would do it before being forced to.