WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) released the following statement Tuesday after Amazon said it would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for all of its United States workers:
"It is no secret that I have been a harsh critic of the wage and employment practices of Amazon and its owner Jeff Bezos. It has been my view that the middle class and working families of this country should not have to subsidize Mr. Bezos, the wealthiest person on Earth because many of his Amazon employees earned wages that were so low that they were forced to go on government programs like food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing.
"Today I want to give credit where credit is due. And I want to congratulate Mr. Bezos for doing exactly the right thing. Today he has raised the minimum wage at Amazon and Whole Foods effective next month. This applies not only to full-time workers, but part-time workers and temporary workers as well.
"Further, Mr. Bezos has indicated his support to raise the federal minimum wage. As the author of the $15 per hour minimum wage bill in the Senate, I look forward to working with him in this area.
"Let me thank the many hundreds of Amazon workers who contacted my office and the Fight for $15 movement which has been leading this effort for years.
"What Mr. Bezos has done today is not only enormously important for Amazon’s hundreds of thousands of employees, it could well be a shot heard around the world. Mr. Bezos and Amazon are helping to lead the way, but there is no reason why other profitable corporations in the fast food industry, the airlines and retail should not be following suit. Bottom line is that in the richest country in the history of the world, no full time employee should be living in poverty. I urge corporate leaders around the country to follow Mr. Bezos' lead, and I congratulate him for what he has done."
Click here to watch Sanders' press conference this morning.