TUCSON, Ariz. - One of the biggest names in business just made a big announcement.
Amazon says effective next month it's raising its minimum wage to 15 dollars for all employees. That could raise your pay even if you work for someone else.
Amazon's says when it's Tucson regional warehouse opens this coming Spring it will employ about 15 hundred workers.
Now Amazon's announcing it is setting 15 dollars an hour as a minimum wage for all Amazon workers anywhere in the country, even part-timers and temps.
There could be a broader effect on Tucson from Amazon's commitment to jack up its basic wage. The job experts at Pima County's One Stop Job Center tell us there is a demand for workers right now and any companies that don't keep up with their wages risk having their workers defect to Amazon.
Higher wages sound great to Sonya Soumbey-Alley.
"Simply because, just the cost of living in general and it's time that Tucson, and Tucsonans have an increase for the cost of living, just across the board whether it's food, household, clothing..."
Amazon will be competing for workers against warehouses already in Tucson like Home Goods, or Target and Amazon's $15 base wage may prompt other businesses to raise pay.
Arizona voters raised the state's minimum wage to $10.50 an hour this year and $12 an hour in 2020. Amber Smith, the CEO of Tucson's Metro Chamber prefers this sort of wage growth.
“This is a perfect example of supply and demand, the employers are able to choose how they want to set their wages, which is a much better approach than reacting to government set wages."
But Amazon says it also wants the government to require higher wages. It's calling for the Federal government to raise the minimum from 7.25 an hour it is now.