Costco will pay all workers at least $16 per hour, as the CEO advocates for a higher minimum wage

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Better Capitalism
Better Capitalism
costco employee worker
Costco is raising its minimum wage to $16 per hour. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
  • Costco is raising its minimum wage to $16 per hour.

  • CEO W. Craig Jelinek said in a congressional hearing that raising pay was good for business.

  • Costco raised minimum wage to $15 in 2018, and over half of workers make more than $25 per hour

  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Costco is raising its minimum wage to $16 per hour.

On Thursday, Costco CEO W. Craig Jelinek announced that the company's minimum wage will be $16 per hour starting next week. Jelinek announced the raise while speaking at a Senate budget hearing with the title: "Should Taxpayers Subsidize Poverty Wages at Large Profitable Corporations?"

Jelinek said that the raise is "good business," as it cuts down on turnover, with employees averaging more than nine years at the company. According to the CEO, one of the biggest factors in Costco's success is that it has the best employees in the retail industry.

"We're certainly not perfect, but we try to take care of our employees, because they play such a significant role in our success," Jelinek

Costco raised its minimum wage to $15 in 2019. According to Jelinek, more than half of the company's in-store workers are paid more than $25 per hour. All workers receive paid vacation, and many receive additional bonuses and healthcare benefits.

"Our turnover in the retail industry is less than 10%," Jelinek said. "Anybody with the company over a year, our turnover is around 6%. We don't turn over a lot of employees, which we think is very beneficial."

Sen. Bernie Sanders said at the hearing that the CEOs of companies including Walmart and McDonald's were invited to speak at the event, but declined to attend. Sanders is advocating for the federal minimum wage to be raised to $15.

"US taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize some of the largest and most profitable corporations in America," Sanders said.

Companies including Target, Amazon, and Best Buy have raised their minimum wage to at least $15 in recent years. While Walmart recently announced a raise that will impact 425,000 associates in March, the company's minimum wage is still $11 per hour.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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