Just hours ago Amazon has announced it will be raising the minimum wage of their lowest paid employees to $15 an hour (USD). Bezos has made this move after a campaign to raise the minimum wage in America to $15 an hour, with Senator Bernie Sanders heavily endorsing the national movement. Sanders himself has stated that he looks forward to cooperating with Bezos to make the minimum wage target a reality for all Americans.
Just two days ago I posted an article explaining why I boycott Amazon and its subsidiaries, and this announcement is proof that if the public and the workers take action, those at the top will listen. Did my boycott help this? Possibly a tiny bit, but it is the collective power of workers and consumers that gets results, and it must continue to further improve people’s quality of life and work. This applies to more than just America – the union movement here in Australia has been working tirelessly to retaliate against our government’s attack on workers. While not all businesses have adopted the changes, penalty rates are officially cut, and there are a number of workplaces (like McDonald’s) that have Enterprise Bargaining Agreements that leave workers aged 18-20 paid under the federal minimum wage.
I still intend on boycotting Amazon until the other issues I mentioned previously are addressed, but this is a positive step forward and should inspire anyone facing unfair wages or work conditions to join their appropriate union. Change starts from grassroots movements, and that falls to you to contribute your part.