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  • Title
    CEO
  • Affiliation
    Costco Wholesale

In the midst of a national debate over raising the federal minimum wage to $15, Costco Wholesale CEO Craig Jelinek ratcheted up the pressure on his rivals in February by saying the bulk retailer would raise its own lowest hourly wage to $16. Jelinek told a Senate hearing that the move gives Costco “a significant competitive advantage” in the form of reduced employee turnover and a more motivated workforce. Throughout the COVID crisis, Jelinek’s company has stood out for its efforts to protect the welfare of its 185,000 U.S. employees: Earlier in the pandemic, Costco was the first major retailer to require customers to wear masks in its stores; most of its rivals waffled for several weeks before following suit.