Amazon announces $15 minimum wage for all U.S. employees

Amazon announced Tuesday it will raise its hourly minimum wage for all U.S. workers to $15, a change that will impact as many as 350,000 employees coast to coast.

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

The $15 minimum, more than double the federal $7.25 minimum wage, kicks in on Nov. 1 and will be in place for all full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees. Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), the global e-commerce and web services giant, employs 250,000 in the U.S. alone, but expects to hire at least 100,000 more just for the holiday season.

It operates a growing network of fulfillment and distribution warehouses, some topping 1 million square feet, in all corners of the country, including Greater Washington. And like so many large companies that employ thousands of lower…

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