Amazon is raising its minimum wage from $11 to $15 starting in November.
The new minimum wage will also be offered to employees of Amazon’s subsidiaries including Whole Foods, and its seasonal and temporary workers — covering more than 250,000 employees and 100,000 seasonal employees.
The tech giant is also lobbying to have the federal minimum wage, $7.25, raised.
“We will be working to gain Congressional support for an increase in the federal minimum wage. The current rate of $7.25 was set nearly a decade ago,” said Senior Vice President of Amazon Global Corporate Affairs Jay Carney in a statement.
Carney said that increasing the federal minimum wage will have a significant impact on millions of people in the U.S.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 540,000 hourly workers earned minimum wage, while about 1.3 million workers were paid below the $7.25 minimum. Three percent of African American and white workers earned the federal minimum wage or less in 2017.
The percentage of hourly workers earning at or below the federal minimum wage declined from 2.7 percent in 2016 to 2.3 percent in 2017.
Amazon has previously been criticized for its warehouse working conditions and over exhausting its employees. Whole Foods employees have also made efforts to unionize with demands of raising the minimum wage to $15.
In September, Amazon hit a $1 trillion market cap, making it the second company(after Apple) in history to do so.
“We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do,” said Amazon CEO and Founder Jeff Bezos. “We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.”