Amazon Raises Minimum Wage to $15 per Hour

Patrick Kissel, Reporter

Amazon raised their minimum wage for all workers in the United States to $15 per hour. This comes after Amazon and its CEO Jeff Bezos have faced criticism by justice democrats and Vermont independent senator Bernie Sanders, who say that the old wages Amazon paid their employees was not enough for employees to sustain themselves.

After Amazon announced that they would be raising the hourly minimum wage, videos quickly circulated showing Amazon employees cheering as they were told the news at work.

“Prices keep increasing, and it becomes harder and harder for people to sustain themselves because wages stay stagnant,” senior Sydney Kirby said.

This new minimum wage would benefit 250,000 employees, including part time and temporary employees. Seasonal employees numbering 100,000 will also be benefitted by this decision.

“The minimum wage is supposed to be an incentive for people to be able to get better jobs, and to make you feel uncomfortable with the job you currently have,” junior Nick Bono said.

In September, Sanders and California democratic representative Ro Khanna introduced legislation that would require corporations to pay the government however much their employees were taking out in federal benefit, including food stamps. The legislation was called the Stop B.E.Z.O.S. Act.

“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,” Sanders said upon hearing of the pay increase according to CNBC.

A few days after announcing the wage increase, Amazon also announced that they were doing away with other benefits, including rewarding employees small parts of Amazon stock, as well as bonuses.

Freshman Liam McLaughlin said that he does not think that $7.85 is enough for people to sustain themselves on, because it just is not that much money.

This decision has created controversy because Amazon stock is worth a large amount of money, and its value continues to go up every day. This means that while Amazon workers will make more money per hour, they will no longer be rewarded with extremely lucrative stock.