Amazon starts paying workers its new $15 minimum wage

Amazon starts paying workers its new $15 minimum wage
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Amazon's increased minimum wage went into effect on Thursday, providing a $15 per hour salary for all employees of the retail and technology giant.

The company announced in early October that it would raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour for all full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees across the United States.

The policy was set to go into effect on Nov. 1, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said at the time.

"We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us," Bezos said in an Oct. 2 statement.

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The increase also applies to Whole Foods employees, as Amazon purchased the grocer for nearly $14 billion last year.

Bloomberg reported shortly after the announcement that the increase in hourly wages would come at the expense of monthly bonuses and stock awards.

Amazon raised its minimum wage in the face of pressure from labor rights groups and lawmakers, led by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersConfused by polls? Watch early primary states — not national numbers Confused by polls? Watch early primary states — not national numbers Biden leads in early voting states, followed by Warren, Sanders: poll MORE (I-Vt.), who took aim at Amazon repeatedly in speeches and via social media.

Sanders, a prospective 2020 presidential candidate, praised Amazon's decision at the time it was announced.

The online retail giant became the second U.S. corporation to exceed $1 trillion in value when it briefly crossed that threshold in September.