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Amazon Boosts Minimum Wage

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By Published On: October 3, 20180 Comments

In a shock move, Amazon has announced it will be increasing its minimum wage to $15 per hour for all US employees.

Amazon hasn’t exactly built its reputation on fair workplace practices, which is why the company’s decision to increase its minimum wage has sent shockwaves through the industry.
Employee working conditions at the trillion dollar powerhouse have been a seemingly endless saga, with reports surfacing that conditions are so bad that it has more employees enrolled in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) than any other American business. Amazon has previously denied claims its employees are over-represented in SNAP, but critics are suggesting the decision to raise the minimum wage could be an indirect admission of guilt.
“We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and we decided we want to lead,” Amazon’s CEO and Chairman, Jeff Bezos said in a statement.
In what has quickly become a PR spin, Bezos told the media he hoped Amazon’s decision would inspire other companies to follow suit.
“We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.”
According to the company’s Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Affairs, Jay Carney, Amazon plans to build congressional support for widespread minimum wage increases across the country.
Amazon’s decision to offer employees a higher hourly rate comes after Senator Bernie Sanders launched the “Stop Bad Employers Zeroing Out Subsidies Act” AKA, the “Stop Bezos” bill, in response to a high number of company employees collecting government subsidies. Under this proposal, companies with 500 or more employees would be required to pay extra taxes for any employees collecting benefits as a result of low wages and poor working conditions.
Sanders hasn’t been the only political figure to bash Bezos, with President Donald Trump also jumping at any opportunity to criticise the wealthy CEO. However, both men have reacted positively to Tuesday’s news, with Sanders saying he “wants to give credit where credit is due”.
The head of Trump’s National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow, also responded to Bezos’ decision with praise.
“Higher wages, terrific,” he said. “More people working and prospering … is not inflationary. It’s a good thing not a bad thing,” adding it looks like Bezos made a “business decision,” and “he’s a pretty good businessman.”
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