Jeff Bezos to retail rivals: "I challenge" you to match Amazon's $15 wage

By Aimee Picchi

/ MoneyWatch

Amazon hikes minimum wage to $15 for U.S. workers

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is daring other retailers to match or exceed the ecommerce giant's minimum wage for workers, which it moved to hike last fall to $15 an hour.

In his annual shareholder letter, Bezos said Amazon decided to boost its baseline pay to become a leader in providing competitive wages. "This wage hike benefitted more than 250,000 Amazon employees, as well as over 100,000 seasonal employees who worked at Amazon sites across the country last holiday," he wrote.

Bezos called out his "top retail competitors (you know who you are!) to match our employee benefits and our $15 minimum wage." He added, "Better yet, go to $16 and throw the gauntlet back at us. It's a kind of competition that will benefit everyone."

Trending News

Bezos, whose $115 billion fortune makes him the world's wealthiest person, issued the challenge at a time Amazon remains under fire for what some claim is poor treatment of its warehouse workers. And while company employees got an hourly pay bump late last year, it came with a cost: Existing warehouse workers were no longer given stock in the company or bonuses.

Fighting for $15

Raising wages for low-paid employees has become a rallying cry for labor activists and workers. The Fight for $15 campaign has organized rallies and protests across the country in an effort to convince lawmakers and corporate chiefs to lift minimum pay, arguing that the federal minimum wage of $7.25 is far too low to provide a living wage.

"Our focus is on hiring and retaining versatile and talented employees who can think like owners," Bezos wrote in his shareholder note. "Achieving that requires investing in our employees, and, as with so many other things at Amazon, we use not just analysis but also intuition and heart to find our way forward."

First published on April 11, 2019 / 11:24 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

Jeff Bezos to rivals: "I challenge" you to match Amazon's pay

In his annual letter, CEO urged retailers to boost pay: "Better yet, go to $16 and throw the gauntlet back at us"

17M ago

How to watch The Masters: Tee times and pairings

Here are the tee times and pairings for top golfers at the 2019 Masters Tournament

25M ago

Authorities denounce Louisiana church fires as "evil acts"

CBS News has learned it was the suspect's father, a sheriff's deputy, who turned him in to authorities

updated 22M ago

Privacy on Pregnancy Apps

Drew Harwell, a national technology reporter for the Washington Post, joined CBSN to talk about privacy on pregnancy-tracking apps.

updated 13M ago 04:33

Avenatti hit with more criminal charges in California

The former attorney for Stormy Daniels has already been charged in New York and in California

1H ago

Avenatti hit with more criminal charges in California

The former attorney for Stormy Daniels has already been charged in New York and in California

1H ago

Justice Department unseals charges against Assange

London's Metropolitan Police confirmed that Assange had been arrested Thursday

1H ago

2020 hopeful Jay Inslee: "The electoral college needs to go"

"There's nothing wrong to say democracy can be reformed and improved," said Inlsee.

2H ago

GOP senator to Pompeo: You don't have "permission" to go to war with Iran

"Only congress can declare war. You do not have our permission to go to war with Iran," Paul warned the secretary

3H ago

Attorney general backtracks on "spying" claim

Attorney General William Barr confirmed he will look at how the Russia investigation began in 2016. Barr told the Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday that he thinks somebody spied on President Trump's campaign, and he wants to know if that was legally justified. Barr then backtracked, admitting he had no evidence of wrongdoing or meritless surveillance. Major Garrett reports.

3H ago 02:37

GOP senator to Pompeo: You don't have "permission" to go to war with Iran

"Only congress can declare war. You do not have our permission to go to war with Iran," Paul warned the secretary

3H ago

Rugby star will be cut by team after "hell awaits homosexuals" post

Rugby Australia said it plans to terminate the fullback's contract with the national team after he made anti-gay comments on social media

3H ago

Eye Opener: WikiLeaks founder arrested

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is arrested after more than six years holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Also, a life-threatening blizzard reaches full strength in the upper Midwest, closing highways and blacking out widespread areas. All that and all that matters in today's Eye Opener. Your world in 90 seconds. <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/newsletters/" target="_blank"><u>Get the Eye Opener delivered straight to your inbox.</u></a>

3H ago 02:05

WikiLeaks boss Julian Assange arrested in London

London's Metropolitan Police confirm arrest of WikiLeaks founder at Ecuadorian Embassy after he spent seven years in hiding

updated 41M ago

South Korean court orders easing of abortion ban

The country is currently one of just five of the world's 36 most-developed nations to impose a ban on nearly all abortions

6H ago

"Meghan and Harry Plus One" to look back on whirlwind year for royal couple

Gayle King to anchor one-hour special May 17 marking the one-year anniversary of the royal couple's marriage and the birth of their first child

14H ago

Full-length trailer for "The Lion King" is released

The trailer reveals the astonishing CGI remake of the classic 1994 Disney movie

18H ago

Memorial service for Nipsey Hussle to be held in L.A.

The Grammy-nominated rapper will be honored on Thursday in Los Angeles

17H ago

Kim Kardashian-West preparing to take bar exam

The reality star and beauty mogul is now a law apprentice at a San Francisco firm

16H ago

"Killing Eve" stars on their characters' "absolutely obsessive" relationship

The hit show is at once a psychological thriller, a cat-and-mouse spy game and a workplace comedy

Apr 10

Facebook to combat false and harmful info with new features

It's limiting visibility of links that are more prominent on Facebook than elsewhere and adding more expert fact checkers

20H ago

Ethical challenges of artificial intelligence

CNET senior producer Dan Patterson reports on some of the technological and ethical challenges facing the rapidly growing field of artificial intelligence.

18H ago 03:08

New app aspires to be the Airbnb of parking

ParkStash connects drivers looking for a parking spot with homeowners and businesses with space for their wheels

Apr 10

YouTube had to disable "hateful" comments during hate crimes hearing

One of the channels streaming the hearing was a white nationalist account that raised money from users

Apr 9

Facebook's AI helping block or remove 1 million accounts a day

Ahead of elections in India, the social media company is purging accounts that violate its rules against misinformation, hate speech and voter suppression

Apr 8

First black hole image reveals cosmic place of no return: "Our jaws dropped"

Black holes are the universe's most powerful vacuum, inhaling everything

3H ago

Astronomers photograph black hole for first time

Two hundred researchers used a global network of telescopes to capture the iconic image of a black hole. CBSN spoke to physicist Dr. Michio Kaku about the significance of the photo which shows a black hole 55 million light-years away from Earth.

13H ago 04:36

SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch back on tap

A year after its maiden flight, the Falcon Heavy aims to carry an Arabsat communications satelllite into orbit

2H ago

First black hole picture revealed

Scientists on Wednesday showed off the first picture of a black hole. Its gravity is so powerful, nothing escapes, not even light. Mark Strassmann explains.

13H ago 02:25

Scientists unveil first image of black hole in all its dark glory

In an historic observation, a globe-spanning virtual telescope has directly imaged a black hole's shadow

14H ago

Health

Privacy on Pregnancy Apps

Drew Harwell, a national technology reporter for the Washington Post, joined CBSN to talk about privacy on pregnancy-tracking apps.

updated 13M ago 04:33

Insulin makers grilled on price surges

Pressure from Congress appears to be spurring the pharmaceutical industry to lower prescription drug prices for some patients. One of the main producers of insulin, Sanofi, said it will cap the cost of the life-saving drug for diabetics. Some could save thousands of dollars a year. Anna Werner reports.

3H ago 03:24

"People are dying": Insulin being rationed as drug prices rise

A recent study found one in four patients reported "cost-related underuse"

16H ago

Patients rationing insulin amid rising prices

Drug industry executives faced tough questions Wednesday from Congress over the rising cost of insulin. It's nearly doubled in the last five years, forcing some diabetics to ration the drug. Anna Werner reports.

15H ago 02:10

Ohio heartbeat abortion ban heads to governor, who plans to sign it

Ohio would join five other states that have passed such restrictive abortion measures; Opponents vow to sue

16H ago

Jeff Bezos to rivals: "I challenge" you to match Amazon's pay

In his annual letter, CEO urged retailers to boost pay: "Better yet, go to $16 and throw the gauntlet back at us"

17M ago

This artist plays with fire

Michelle Greene is a Brooklyn-based sculptor whose passion is bringing people together through art

2H ago

Amazon employees push for Jeff Bezos to take stance on climate change

4,500 employees signed a letter urging the CEO to stop working with the oil industry and develop a climate plan

2H ago

Judge threatens to stop Carnival ships from docking In U.S.

A federal judge is considering the option as a punishment for a possible probation violation

3H ago

Average tax refund is little changed at $2,833, IRS chief says

Most taxpayers feel their taxes haven't gone down under the new tax laws, and many believe they are paying more

3H ago

Authorities denounce Louisiana church fires as "evil acts"

CBS News has learned it was the suspect's father, a sheriff's deputy, who turned him in to authorities

updated 22M ago

Deputy sheriff turns in son for arrest over fires at black churches

Police arrested the 21-year-old son of a deputy sheriff in connection to fires at three historically black churches in one Louisiana Parish in just 10 days

1H ago

Arrest made in fires at three black churches in Louisiana

St. Mary's pastor Kyle Sylvester said "we can't let this setback stop us from doing what God initially called us to do"

12H ago

Man who found his long-missing mom's remains testifies

Aaron Fraser was 3 when his mother, Bonnie Haim, vanished in 1993; he told a detective, "Daddy hurt Mommy"

17H ago

Man who found missing mom's remains testifies

A Florida man who found the remains of his mother, missing since 1993, during a 2014 home renovation took the stand Tuesday in his father’s murder trial. Christy Turner reporters for CBS affiliate WJAX.

18H ago 01:22

Space

Astronomers photograph black hole for first time

Two hundred researchers used a global network of telescopes to capture the iconic image of a black hole. CBSN spoke to physicist Dr. Michio Kaku about the significance of the photo which shows a black hole 55 million light-years away from Earth.

13H ago 04:36

SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch back on tap

A year after its maiden flight, the Falcon Heavy aims to carry an Arabsat communications satelllite into orbit

2H ago

Scientists unveil first image of black hole in all its dark glory

In an historic observation, a globe-spanning virtual telescope has directly imaged a black hole's shadow

14H ago

Cargo ship completes express flight to space station

For only the second time, the Russians launched a cargo ship on a two-orbit flight to space station

Apr 4

Astronauts excited to return to the moon

Three U.S. astronauts aboard the International Space Station said Monday that they're ready to sign up for a trip to the moon if NASA can meet the Trump administration's newly stated goal of returning Americans to the lunar surface within the next five years.

Apr 2 00:59

The folk art of Bill Traylor

Born into slavery, the self-taught painter who began his artistic life in his 80s is the focus of a retrospective at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Apr 7 24 photos

America's surprising food recalls

What's in your fridge? Just maybe salmonella, E. coli – and a dead bat?

Apr 5 36 photos

The highest-paid U.S. athletes in 2019, ranked

Here's the definitive list of the athletes who earn the most money in the NBA, NFL and MLB

Apr 2 49 photos

New on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon

Shows and movies you'll want to stream soon

Mar 26 35 photos

Anti-Brexit march: Hundreds of thousands in London demand new vote

EU supporters hold a "People's Vote" march demanding a new referendum, as Prime Minister Theresa May faces increasing pressure to resign

Mar 23 22 photos

Popular

Payroll system can deliver big benefits

For a small business, payroll can be the biggest expense and also the greatest liability. IRC Wealth Strategies CEO David Ragland joined CBSN to discuss how to best set up payroll as well as how to classify employees and keep accurate financial records.

updated 18M ago 04:07

Privacy on Pregnancy Apps

Drew Harwell, a national technology reporter for the Washington Post, joined CBSN to talk about privacy on pregnancy-tracking apps.

updated 13M ago 04:33

Dominic West on new "Les Mis" adaptation

Actor Dominic West earned a Golden Globe nomination for playing a cheating husband who complicates his family’s life in "The Affair" on Showtime, a division of CBS. Now he is taking the role of Jean Valjean in a new adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic novel, "Les Misérables." West joins "CBS This Morning" to discuss the Masterpiece series on PBS.

2H ago 04:49

Border business: Inside immigration

CBSN Originals presents a documentary special about the cottage industry that's built up across Central America to get migrants to the U.S. border.

Mar 29 38:03

Who to watch at the Masters golf tournament

The 83rd Masters Tournament is underway in Augusta, Georgia. Jim Nantz, CBS Sports’ lead play-by-play announcer who is covering the Masters for the 34th year, joins "CBS This Morning" to preview the tournament.

2H ago 05:31