Walmart Responds to Bezos with Tweet Asking Amazon to Pay Taxes

Andrew Cummings
April 14, 2019

Amazon.com Inc Chief Executive Jeff Bezos on Thursday challenged retailers to hike their minimum wages to $16 an hour, prompting a comeback from Walmart Inc which asked its rivals to pay taxes.

"Today I challenge our top retail competitors (you know who you are!) to match our employee benefits and our $15 minimum wage", the billionaire entrepreneur said in a letter here to shareholders.

"We will work hard to make good bets said Bezos but not all good bets will ultimately pay out".


Amazon's wage hike came as US unemployment was at a near two-decade low, with retailers and shippers competing for hundreds of thousands of workers for the all-important holiday shopping season.

Match our employee benefits and our $15 minimum wage. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication. "Third-party sellers are kicking our first-party butt", Bezos wrote, attributing their success to tools built by Amazon, including the Prime subscription program and Fulfillment by Amazon distribution service.

Bezos now wants Amazon's competitors to the do the same, proposing what seems like a minimum-pay war. They also plan to call to an end to stalled contract negotiations.


And it appears that Amazon, well-known for giving low priority to the short-term growth interests of Wall Street, will continue taking big risks if it sees a potential pay-off in the long run.

"Since the first-generation Echo, customers have purchased more than 100 million Alexa-enabled devices", he said. If the size of your failures isn't growing, you're not going to be inventing at a size that can actually move the needle.

One caveat is that Amazon's workforce primarily works in distribution centres, which typically pay more than stores do because of the more demanding, physical nature of those roles, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Charles Allen.


The CEO said he believed the wage hike was good for business, saying the increase was "beyond competitive".

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