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Jeff Bezos challenges retail rivals to raise minimum wage to $16 an hour

Amazon.com Inc in October pledged to pay all of its warehouse workers at least $15 an hour

Spencer Soper | Bloomberg 

Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos

com Inc Chief Executive Officer is daring rival retailers to raise their to $16 an hour.

Bezos laid down the challenge in his annual shareholder letter, published Thursday. Bezos routinely uses the letter to outline his long-term strategy, which made him the world’s wealthiest man and one of the most valuable

"Today I challenge our top retail competitors (you know who you are!) to match our and our $15 minimum wage," Bezos said. "Do it! Better yet, go to $16 and throw the gauntlet back at us. It’s a kind of competition that will benefit everyone."

The company in October pledged to pay all of its warehouse workers at least $15 an hour, after presidential hopefuls and held out workers on as an example of the need for living wage protections.

This was Bezos’s first shareholder letter since his personal affairs became tabloid fodder. The CEO in January announced his divorce from his wife of 25 years, , and the couple last week announced a settlement that leaves Bezos with 75 percent of their stock in the company. He remains Amazon’s biggest shareholder.

Bezos made no direct mention of the divorce in his annual letter, maintaining distance between the company’s operations and his personal life.

Bezos includes his 1997 shareholder letter to remind investors of his ability to capitalize on how the internet would change the nature of shopping. His strategy and outlook have developed a cult-like following similar to that of Warren Buffett, whose annual letters to Berkshire Hathaway Inc. investors are must-reads for those looking to understand the economy and Buffett’s investment strategy.

First Published: Thu, April 11 2019. 17:56 IST
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