Sen. Sanders commends Amazon minimum wage increase: ‘I want to congratulate Mr. Bezos’

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Tuesday commended Amazon over its minimum wage hike, saying he wants to congratulate Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in order to “give credit where credit is due.”

Amazon announced early Tuesday that it is increasing its hourly minimum wage to $15 per hour for all full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees in the U.S.

{mosads}The move comes after Sanders has for months railed against Amazon’s working conditions and wages, soliciting input from the corporation’s employees who say they have had to use government support programs in order to survive.

“The wages [Bezos] was paying his employees were so low that many of them were forced to go on food stamps, Medicaid, subsidized housing and other governmental programs,” Sanders said in a speech live-streamed on Facebook

“Today, I want to give credit where credit is due and I want to congratulate Mr. Bezos for doing exactly the right thing,” Sanders said.

Amazon has sought to push back against Sanders’s attacks on the company, offering tours of their factories and highlighting stories from employees who support the corporation. 

Earlier this month, Sanders introduced legislation called the Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies Act, or Stop BEZOS Act, that would charge big companies like Amazon for the federal welfare programs that support their low-wage workers.

“What Mr. Bezos today has done is not only enormously important for Amazon’s hundreds of thousands of employees, it could well be, and I think it will be, a shot heard around the world,” Sanders said on Tuesday.

“Mr. Bezos and Amazon are now leading the way, but there is absolutely now no reason why other profitable corporations like Walmart, like the fast food industry, like retail in general, and other employers … should not be paying their employees at least $15 an hour,” the senator added.

Sanders, an outspoken advocate for economic equality, often targets large corporations for practices that he claims are unfair and harmful to their workers.

“In this country, our standard should be that if you work 40 hours a week, you should not be living in poverty,” the Vermont senator said.

Tags Amazon Bernie Sanders Facebook Minimum wage Senate

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