Amazon, Walmart trade barbs on taxes and wages

Elon Musk calls Jeff Bezos a ‘copycat

Elon Musk calls Jeff Bezos a ‘copycat

Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos challenged retail competitors Thursday to match his company's decision to hike employees' hourly minimum wage to $15 - a move that drew a response from a leader at competitor Walmart.

"Do it!. Better yet, go to $16 and throw the gauntlet back at us", Jeff Bezos wrote in his annual shareholder letter.

Bezos's letter also comes as pilots from three carriers who fly for Amazon Prime Air and DHL cargo jets are planning to protest poor working conditions including low pay and severe attrition issues Thursday near the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, according to a press release from union group Airline Professionals Association.

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

Amazon's first-party business has grown dramatically over that period, from $1.6 billion in 1999 to $117 billion this past year. 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. "This wage hike benefitted more than 250,000 Amazon employees, as well as over 100,000 seasonal employees who worked at Amazon sites across the country last holiday", he wrote. Walmart was quick to gently remind Amazon of its tax avoidance.

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Walmart, which has raised its minimum wage twice since 2015, pays an entry wage of $11 per hour.

Shares of eBay fell almost 5% on Thursday, after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos snubbed the rival e-commerce giant in his annual letter to shareholders. The airport is the largest hub for each of the airlines.

Inc. churned out profits last year that exceeded $10 billion, more than tripling net income from the previous year.

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.

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