*By Amanda Weston* Amazon's decision to raise its minimum wage to $15 is "about the future," according to the company's senior VP of operations. Dave Clark told Cheddar Tuesday that the e-commerce giant has "hired over 100,000 people, and we expect to hire tens of thousands more." "This is about ensuring we retain, hire, and develop the best talent in the world," he said. Amazon ($AMZN) [announced Tuesday](https://blog.aboutamazon.com/working-at-amazon/amazon-raises-minimum-wage-to-15-for-all-us-employees) the change will affect more than 250,000 employees, more than 100,000 seasonal holiday workers, and associates employed by temp agencies. Employees at subsidiaries like Whole Foods, which the company bought last year for nearly $14 billion, will also receive the pay raise. Beyond its own new policy, Amazon's public policy team will also advocate for changes in Washington, D.C. "It was clear to us that the $7.25 was too low for the federal minimum wage, and so we decided to throw our support behind increasing that," Clark said. That rate was established in 2009. One of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos's harshest critics, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), released [a statement](https://twitter.com/tictoc/status/1047128870397382657) praising the company's move. "Today I want to give credit where credit is due," Sanders said. "And I want to congratulate Mr. Bezos for doing exactly the right thing." Last month, Sanders introduced the ["Stop BEZOS Act"](https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/09/05/bernie-sanders-introduces-stop-bezos-act-senate/?utm_term=.171994c982a0), which would have required large employers like Amazon to pay taxes on workers receiving federal assistance. In response to Tuesday's news, Sanders also wrote he looks forward to working with Bezos on promoting higher wages at the federal level. He urged other corporations to follow the retail giant's lead. Clark said that while Amazon listened to its critics, the "Stop BEZOS Act" did not factor into the company's decision. "This is really all about the future of our approach to pay for our employees and trying to lead on this issue overall," he said. Clark [tweeted a video](https://twitter.com/davehclark/status/1047071466787889154) on Tuesday, showing employees cheering for the wage increase. "It's really been amazing," Clark said. "I've been here almost 20 years, and this is one of the best days I've had with the company. Being in front of 700 people who got to experience that increase and knowing what that's going to mean for them and their families this holiday season ー \[it\] was a really special moment." Amazon's new minimum wage will go into effect on Nov. 1 of this year. For full interview [click here](https://cheddar.com/videos/amazon-raises-minimum-wage-to-15-per-hour).

More In Business
Load More