In his annual shareholder letter, Jeff Bezos challenges retail rivals to match or raise their minimum wage above Amazon's $15 per hour (Vlad Savov/The Verge)


In his annual letter to shareholders, Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos throws in a message to his company’s retail competitors, urging them to start a price war on the minimum wage they pay their employees. Amazon moved to a $15 minimum wage in the United States at the end of last year — though it did so with cuts to benefits and stock grants that meant some employees would end up being paid less, which then led Amazon to announce a further boost in pay to rectify the situation. Still, in a country with a federal minimum hourly pay of $7.25, Amazon’s actions can be considered progressive.

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

In June of this year, Target plans to bump its minimum hourly wage to $13 per hour (from the current $12 per hour), ahead of a move to $15 per hour by the end of 2020. Walmart’s minimum wage is $11 per hour. Costco, citing