The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Brett Abrams,

Consumer Watchdog on Amazon's New $15 Minimum Wage

SumOfUs says Amazon still must do more to combat worker abuses


This morning, Amazon announced that it would be increasing the minimum wage for all US employees to $15 per hour, more than double the current federal minimum wage. The new rate will go into effect on November 1st, covering all of Amazon's full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees in the US. Earlier this year, Amazon, run by the world's richest man, Jeff Bezos, was criticized after revealing that its workers median pay was only $28,446.

In reaction to the news, Sijal Nasralla, a campaigner for SumOfUs, an international consumer watchdog organization, issued the following statement:

"Amazon's announcement this morning that it would begin paying all of its US workers a minimum of $15 per hour is a huge win for all working people, and especially Amazon workers. This would not have been possible without the tireless campaigning of fast food workers, Amazon workers, and members of Fight for $15 who have made fair, liveable wages, and dignity in work a top priority and brought this issue out of the shadows and into the national spotlight.

"While Amazon increasing the minimum wage for its US workers is a good thing, the overall treatment of Amazon workers must change as well. Unrealistic productivity goals, worker deaths, reports of workers being afraid to use the bathroom, and reports of suicide show that Amazon's worker abuses extend far beyond wages and into company practices as a whole. Moreover, Amazon contractor workers still lack the basic protections and wages that Amazon is now extending to its US employees.

"Amazon made a huge step forward today, but there is still a lot more to be done until Amazon can say without question that its workers are paid fairly and treated with the dignity that they deserve."

SumOfUs is a community of people from around the world committed to curbing the growing power of corporations. We want to buy from, work for and invest in companies that respect the environment, treat their workers well and respect democracy. And we're not afraid to hold them to account when they don't. Barely a day goes by without a fresh corporate scandal making headlines. From polluting the environment to dodging taxes - when left unchecked, corporations don't let anything stand in the way of bigger profits. In an age of multinational companies that are bigger and richer than some countries, it can be easy to feel powerless. But there is a chink in their armor. The biggest corporations in the world rely on ordinary people to keep them in business. We are their customers, their employees, and often their investors. When we act together, we can be more powerful than they are. Together, our community of millions act as a global consumer watchdog - running and winning campaign