Online retail giant Amazon would raise its minimum wage for US workers to $15 an hour to silence its critics and also seek a higher minimum wage nationwide which currently stands at $7.25.
The wage plan to be implemented from next month will benefit 250,000 employees and more than 100,000 temporary workers the company hires for holiday shopping seasons. It will also apply to employees of the grocery store chain Whole Foods which Amazon acquired last year.
Amazon hopes other big US companies will follow suit. The company said it will persuade lawmakers to raise the federal minimum wage without saying by how much.
Since Amazon’s pay structure varies from state to state, the increase in minimum wage could be between $3 and $5 an hour.
Senator Bernie Sanders, who campaigned for higher wages, said Amazon is leading the way and asked companies like Walmart to follow suit.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow called the move “terrific.”
Amazon is not the only US firm which thought of raising the minimum wage to $15. Department store chain Target has already announced that it would raise wages to $15 an hour by 2020. Walt Disney Company will begin paying that wage to Disneyland workers in California from next year and Disney World employees in Florida by 2021.