Amazon has announced it’s raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour for all of its U.S. employees. They apparently aren’t in receipt of the Arkansas chamber of commerce talking points about the damaging economic impact of a minimum wage higher than $8.50.
The raise applies to all employees — fulltime, part-time or temporary. This covers some 250,000 employees and 100,000 seasonal workers.
The Little Rock corporate types who yukked it up about sending a “no thanks” letter to Amazon in its search for a second headquarters can take some happiness in Amazon’s decision to put a temporary package handling facility in North Little Rock. Meanwhile, they are part of the chamber of commerce cabal — joined by Republicans Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin and three of the four U.S. House members, including Republican Rep. French Hill of the 2nd District, in saying the state’s $8.50 minimum wage is enough and anything else would be bad for business. Democrats generally are supporting an increase.
Unless a law firm closely associated with the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce and working for the director of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce is successful in knocking it off the ballot, an amendment to raise the $8.50 to $11 by 2021 will go to voters in November. I wonder where rapidly advancing companies like Amazon will be on pay in 2021, if our minimum narrows the gap to $4 by then?