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Bank of America Raises Minimum Wage to $20

Amazon's Jeff Bezos is urging other retailors to get on board with wage hikes as well

Posted on
Apr 12, 2019

Although the Senate and Trump are refusing to raise the minimum wage, Bank of America and Amazon are increasing their companies wages and pushing their competitors to do the same. Below are two stories from the Long Island Business News and the AP about each companies effort to raise the wage.

Amazon's Bezos challenges retailers to raise pay, improve benefits

Amazon's Jeff Bezos challenged other retailers to raise wages and improve benefits for their employees, saying the competition will help everyone.

Bezos covered a wide range of topics in his annual letter to shareholders Thursday that was released on Twitter and filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"Today I challenge our top retail competitors (you know who you are!) to match our employee benefits and our $15 minimum wage," Bezos wrote. "Do it! Better yet, go to $16 and throw the gauntlet back at us."

Late last year, Amazon jumped ahead of many rivals by raising its minimum wage for U.S. workers to $15 an hour. That pay hike was not universally praised by all workers, who said the company cut two employee benefits as well: monthly bonuses and the chance to own some of Amazon's sky-rocketing stock.

Amazon did make some adjustments afterward to ensure workers were getting a raise.

Target and Walmart have increased starting wages for workers over the past few years as the job market grew hotter and people could find better pay and benefits elsewhere. Target Corp. said last week it would raise the minimum hourly wage by a dollar in June to $13 per hour, the third pay hike in less than two years. The Minneapolis retailer has said it plans to raise starting hourly wages to $15 by the end of 2020.

Walmart, based in Bentonville, Ark., raised its starting pay to $11 an hour in early 2018. In a statement emailed to The Associated Press Thursday, Walmart defended its record, noting it has increased starting wages by more than 50% in the last three years and currently has an average hourly total compensation of more than $17.50. It touted benefits like advanced job training and paid time off.

A top spokesman at the world's largest retailer was also quick to mock on Twitter Amazon's challenge with its own jab on the issue of taxes.

"Hey retail competitors out there (You know who you are) How about paying your taxes?" Walmart's Dan Bartlett tweeted. Bartlett shared an article that cited a report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy which noted that Amazon will pay no federal income taxes for the second straight year.

Click here to read more from the AP.

Bank of America raising hourly minimum wage to $20

Bank of America plans to raise its starting pay to $20 an hour over a two-year period, the bank said Tuesday, starting with a hike next month.

The company, with more than 200,000 workers, said it is raising its minimum hourly wage to $17 on May 1 and will continue to increase pay until it hits $20 an hour in 2021. Bank of America raised its hourly minimum wage to $15 in 2017.

“If you get a job at Bank of America, you’ll make $41,000 per year,” Chairman and CEO Brian Moynihan said during a television interview on MSNBC.

The timing of Bank of America’s announcement is no coincidence. Moynihan and the CEOs of JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and three other banks will appear in front of a House finance committee Wednesday in the most significant hearing on the banking industry since Democrats took control of the House earlier this year.

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