Amazon will now pay all of its U.S. employees at least $15
Workers have scored a big win in the fight for $15.
Workers have scored a big win in the fight for $15.

Image: david mcnew/Getty Images

2018%2f06%2f26%2fc2%2f20182f062f252f5a2fphoto.d9abc.b1c04By Matt Binder

Amid increasing public pressure, Amazon has announced it will be raising the minimum wage of all its employees in the U.S. to at least $15 an hour.

The increase in pay for Amazon workers will kick in almost immediately, with the new $15 wage beginning next month.

According to a statement released today by the online retail giant, the wage increase will affect more than 350,000 workers. That number also covers over 100,000 seasonal employees who will soon be hired at by the company throughout the United States for the holidays.” Amazon currently employs around 575,000 workers around the world.

The Amazon employees seeing a bump in pay include full-time, part-time, workers employed by temp agencies, as well as seasonal positions. Workers at Whole Foods, which Amazon owns, will also get the same pay increase, according to the Associated Press.

Amid low pay and reports of poor working conditions, Amazon had long been a target of minimum wage activists and progressives. 

The economic disparity within the company really hit a breaking point this summer amid Amazon hitting a market value of $1 trillion and its founder and CEO Jeff Bezos becoming the richest person in modern history

Some Amazon workers went on strike to protest their conditions. U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, who consistently pressed Amazon on the issue, recently introduced the Stop BEZOS Act, which sought to tax companies with employees who earned wages low enough that they received federal welfare benefits.

“We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead,” said Bezos in Amazon’s statement. “We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.”

In its statement, Amazon also announced that its public policy team will advocate for an increase in the federal minimum wage which currently sits at $7.25 an hour.

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