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Amazon’s Minimum Wage Hike Is Not What It Seems

October 6, 2018 in Blogs

By Nicole Karlis, Salon

Some workers say that they will lose thousands of dollars as a result of stock programs being eliminated

Online retail behemoth Amazon has faced much scrutiny in recent months over the disparity between its CEO, Jeff Bezos — who is the richest man in the world — and the company’s low-wage warehouse workers, who toil in horrifying conditions and yet without whom the company would cease to function. Naturally, that disparity has been the subject of criticism from progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has been waging a PR war of sorts calling out Amazon over its worker abuses and low pay. Sanders, along with Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) recently proposed a bill, known as the “Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies Act” (or “Stop BEZOS Act”) which would levy a tax on big corporations like Amazon.

When Amazon announced on Tuesday it was raising the minimum wage for its U.S. employees to $15 an hour, effective next month, many saw it as a huge victory for progressives and labor advocates — and Amazon's response to the criticism.

“Today I want to give credit where credit is due,” Sanders said in a statement. “What Mr. Bezos has done today is not only enormously important for Amazon's hundreds of thousands of employees, it could well be, and I think it will be, a shot heard around the world. Further, Mr. Bezos has indicated his support to raise the federal minimum wage. As the author of the $15 per hour minimum wage bill in the Senate, I look forward to working with him in this area,” he added.”

Amazon stated that their minimum wage increase to $15/hour will apply to all full-time, part-time, temporary (those hired by temp agencies are included), and seasonal employees across the United States. The $15/hour wage will go into effect on November 1. In a statement, Bezos made a point to acknowledge the wage increase is a result of listening to the company’s “critics.”

“We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead,” Bezos said in a statement. “We're excited about this change and encourage our …read more


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