As Amazon opens new Orlando warehouse, the company raises minimum wage to $15


Announced Tuesday, online retail juggernaut Amazon will raise the company's minimum wage to $15 for all U.S. employees – and not just for full-time workers, but part-time, temporary and seasonal, too.

The wage increase will take effect Nov. 1 and will benefit more than 250,000 Amazon employees and 100,000 seasonal employees, as well as all Whole Foods Market employees.

"We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do and decided we want to lead," says Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in a news release. "We're excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us."

The pay increase comes just weeks after Amazon opened its new 2.4-million-square foot warehouse on a property south of Orlando International Airport, which will be used to ship items such as books, household goods and toys.

Other Amazon locations in Florida include warehouses in Lakeland, Ruskin, Jacksonville and Miami.

"Today I want to give credit where credit is due, and that is that Mr. Bezos and Amazon have done the right thing. This is a significant step forward for many thousands of Amazon employees," U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, who has a history of using legislation to take swipes at the company's nominal pay rates, told the Washington Post earlier today.

In the announcement Tuesday, Amazon also reportedly said it would lobby for an increase of the federal minimum wage, which has been set at a mere $7.25 for a decade.

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