Bernie Sanders praises Jeff Bezos for hiking Amazon minimum wage to $15

Key Points
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders is praising Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for increasing Amazon's minimum wage to $15.
  • The Vermont senator has been fighting for years to increase the U.S. minimum wage to $15.
  • He is calling on other executives and firms to do the same thing.
Sen. Sanders: Other retailers should be paying $15 per hour
Sen. Sanders: Other retailers should be paying $15 per hour

Sen. Bernie Sanders praised CEO Jeff Bezos on Tuesday after Amazon announced that it will increase the minimum wage for its workers to $15 per hour for all U.S. employees.

"It is no secret that I have been a harsh critic of the wage and employment practices of Amazon and its owner Jeff Bezos," Sanders said. "It has been my view that the middle class and working families of this country should not have to subsidize Mr. Bezos, the wealthiest person on Earth, because many of his Amazon employees earned wages that were so low that they were forced to go on government programs like food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing."

Last month, Sanders introduced legislation named the Bezos Act that would tax corporations for every dollar their low-wage workers receive in government health-care benefits or food stamps.

The Vermont senator on Tuesday congratulated Bezos "for doing exactly the right thing." Amazon said it will also start advocating for an increase to the federal minimum wage.

"Today, I want to give credit where credit is due," Sanders said.

Sanders has been fighting for several years to increase the minimum wage in the United States to $15 per hour. In his statement, Sanders also thanked Amazon workers who reached out to his office asking for support fighting for a minimum wage hike.

The senator said Amazon's announcement, "could well be a shot heard around the world." Sanders called on other profitable companies to make similar moves.

"Bottom line is that in the richest county in the history of the world, no full-time employee should be living in poverty," Sanders said.

Bezos thanked Sanders on Twitter and said he "hopes others will join in."