Amazon's fulfillment center during a media tour on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 in Livonia.

© Elaine Cromie, Special to the Free Press

Amazon is raising minimum wage; that is great news for vets

October 02, 2018 - 4:58 pm

Starting November 1, Amazon's hourly minimum wage will jump to $15. 

That's good news for as many as 250,000 employees, and the extra 100,000 seasonal employees they'll be hiring for the upcoming holiday season.

It is especially good news for veterans and military spouses, as Amazon has an aggressive military hiring initiative.  The raise will also benefit all Whole Foods employees.  Amazon bought Whole Foods last year.

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

Made-on-demand and Books-on-Demand technology at the Amazon facility in Middletown. News Amazon Tour.
© Suchat Pederson, The News Journal

The announcement came on the same day Amazon opened interviews for 1500 employees for a brand new distribution center in south Memphis, Tennessee. You can apply here.  Amazon is encouraging military veterans and spouses to apply, according to WREG TV.

Senator Bernie Sanders, who had taken Amazon and other retailers to task for their low hourly wages, praised the move.

Amazon says they'll also begin lobbying to increase the national minimum wage, which has been $7.25 an hour since 2009.  Target has already raised their minimum wage to $12/hour, increasing to $15/hour by 2020.  Walmart, the nation's largests retailer, has raised it's minimum wage to $11/hour.

Too many veterans and military spouses are stuck in low paying jobs. Raising the minimum wage to $15/hour nationally could benefit nearly 2 million military veterans, according to a report on Veterans Day 2017 by the Economic Policy Institute.