Jeff Bezos published his annual letter to Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) shareholders Thursday and in it he had a message for the online retailing giant's rivals: "Match our employee benefits and our $15 minimum wage" and even beat it.
Amazon raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour for all full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees across the U.S. in October. The wage increase affected more than 250,000 Amazon employees and 100,000 seasonal employees.
Bezos wants his competitors to follow suit and even top Amazon's pay raise.
"Today I challenge our top retail competitors (you know who you are!) to match our employee benefits and our $15 minimum wage. Do it! Better yet, go to $16 and throw the gauntlet back at us. It's a kind of competition that will benefit everyone," Bezos said.
Walmart (WMT - Get Report) said in January it would raise its starting pay to $11 an hour for all of its 1.5 million employees in the U.S., while Target (TGT - Get Report) raised its starting minimum wage to $12 an hour last year with plans to raise it to $15 an hour by 2020.
Walmart's executive vice president of corporate affairs, Dan Bartlett responded to the taunt via Twitter saying, "Hey retail competitors out there (you know who you are) how about paying your taxes?"
Shares of Amazon are down 0.1% in trading Thursday.