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TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey governor Phil Murphy is praising the move by Amazon to raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour for all its workers.
Gov. Murphy made the statement during an event to announce an initiative, Computer Science To All, to make computer science and programming courses accessible statewide at New Jersey high schools. The state is putting $2 million towards that effort.
Amazon, one of New Jersey’s largest employers with 16,000 workers in the state, said it push Congress to increase the federal minimum wage.
The federal minimum wage currently stands at $7.25.
“I was really happy to see Amazon make that announcement,” said Gov. Murphy. “And really happy to see that, by the way, it wasn’t that they’re going to get to it down the road.”
In New Jersey, the minimum wage is $8.60 per hour as of Jan. 1.
“I don’t think in New Jersey that we can do it quote-unquote “next month” for everybody, because there are too many small businesses and small-margin, pardon me, low-margin businesses that can’t take that sticker shock from today to tomorrow,” Murphy added.
Amazon, whose value topped $1 trillion last month, has been under political and economic pressure to pay its employees more.
Employees at Whole Foods, the grocery chain owned by Amazon, will get the raise.
Some workers there have been trying to unionize.