Amazon has announced plans to raise their minimum wage for US workers to $15 an hour after public condemnation for their poor pay practices, including criticisms from Vermont senator Bernie Sanders. CEO Jeff Bezos – the richest man in the world with an estimated net worth of over $155 billion, who declared earlier this year that “the only way that I can see to deploy this much financial resource is by converting my Amazon winnings into space travel” – 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.”
The change goes into effect November 1, 2018, and will include part-time, temporary, and seasonal workers. The increase will apply not just to Amazon’s online retail operations, but also to employees at the Bezos-owned grocery store chain Whole Foods. Those “hourly operations and customer service employees” already making $15 will also get a pay increase. The company more quietly announced that they’d be ending “stock and incentive bonuses” after feedback that employees “prefer the predictability and immediacy of cash.”
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