Amazon Increases Minimum Wages for All US Employees to USD 15 Per Hour

Washington, Oct 2 (PTI) Online retail giant Amazon announced Tuesday it would increase minimum wage of its all US employees to USD 15 per hour, a move welcomed by the Trump Administration and US lawmakers as a significant step that benefits workers.

Effective November 1, the new wage will benefit more than 250,000 Amazon employees, as well as over 100,000 seasonal employees who will be hired at Amazon sites across the country this holiday.

"We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder and CEO.

"We're excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us," said Bezos, who is also owner of The Washington Post.

"We will be working to gain Congressional support for an increase in the federal minimum wage. The current rate of USD 7.25 was set nearly a decade ago," said Jay Carney, senior vice president of Amazon Global Corporate Affairs.

"We intend to advocate for a minimum wage increase that will have a profound impact on the lives of tens of millions of people and families across this country," said Carney, former White House Press Secretary.

"Good for them. I'm in favour of higher wages," Larry Kudlow, the White House Economic Advisor, told reporters.

"It's a business decision. He's a pretty good businessman. How'd the stock do?... It went up? It always goes up... He's a smart guy. Higher wages, terrific... more people working and prospering... is not inflationary it's a good thing, not a bad thing," he said.

"That's just what's happening in the economy. ...See those numbers on blue collar workers? The surge in blue collar workers published in that famous supply side newspaper above the fold, the Washington Post, blue collar workers rising. Love that," Kudlow said in response to a question.

Indian American Congressman Ro Khanna, who represents Silicon Valley in the Congress, applauded Amazon's decision. "I applaud Amazon's decision to start paying all its employees (including temporary and seasonal workers) at least USD 15 an hour," he said.

"This is exactly the response Sen. Sanders and I hoped for when we introduced our bill. We called on Jeff Bezos to do this and be the Henry Ford of his generation and raise wages. I am glad Amazon listened. Many in the beltway criticized our bill as impractical. But Amazon's action shows that our bill can inspire multibillion dollar companies to raise the wages of their workers. Hopefully more companies will follow Amazon's lead," Khanna said.

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from Syndicated News feed, LatestLY Staff may not have modified or edited the content body)