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"We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead," Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder and CEO, said in a statement. "We're excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us."
The company also plans to "begin advocating for an increase in the federal minimum wage," the news release said.
"We intend to advocate for a minimum wage increase that will have a profound impact on the lives of tens of millions of people and families across this country," Jay Carney, senior vice president of Amazon Global Corporate Affairs, said in a statement.
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