Amazon challenges rivals to raise minimum wage

Amazon Jeff Bezos
// Amazon boss Jeff Bezos challenges rivals to raise their minimum wages in an annual letter
// Amazon raised its minimum wage to $15 (£11) an hour in November

Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos has challenged competitors to increase the minimum wage for their employees in an annual letter to shareholders.

When the ecommerce giant increased its minimum wage to $15 (£11) an hour in November, Bezos used his letter to call for rivals to raise their wages.

The annual letter was Bezos’ first time in disclosing Amazon’s physical gross merchandise sales from third-parties on its Amazon platform.

Third-party merchants accounted for 58 per cent of Amazon’s total sales in 2018, up from three per cent in 1997.

Bezos added that first-party sales on the Amazon platform grew to $117 billion (£90 billion) last year.

The letter read: “Today I challenge our top retail competitors (you know who you are!) to match our employee benefits and our $15 (£11) minimum wage.

“Do it! Better yet, go to $16 (£12) and throw the gauntlet back at us. It’s a kind of competition that will benefit everyone.”

Meanwhile, Bezos stands by the notion that Amazon has always offered competitive wages, but decided to start offering wages that would intimidate competitors.

The billionaire also said that the company will continue to grow, as “everything needs to scale, including the size of our failed experiments”.

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