Gap Workers Will Start Earning New Minimum Wage Of $9/Hour This Week

After Gap Inc. made a pledge back in February to raise its lowest wage tier to $10 per hour over the next few years, the company has made its first move toward that higher minimum wage: Some 65,000 workers will start earning a minimum wage of $9 per hour this week.

The company’s pledge goes into effect this week, with thousands of workers at stores like Gap, Banana Republic, Piperlime, Athleta and Intermix getting the boost, as well as others who work in fulfillment and distribution centers for those brands, reports the Chicago Tribune.

The company cited analysts who said the increase in wages “can strengthen our ability to attract and retain a skilled, enthusiastic and engaged workforce” and that “investing in our frontline talent will strengthen and deepen relationships with our customers.”

For that final tick up to the goal of $10 per hour, workers will have to wait until June 2015. Currently, the federal minimum hourly wage is $7.25, though the White House has been pushing the idea of a national minimum wage of $10.10 per hour.

“To us, this is not a political issue,” says Gap’s head Glenn Murphy said when announcing the increase in February. “Our decision to invest in frontline employees will directly support our business, and is one that we expect to deliver a return many times over.”

Gap raises its minimum wage to $9 an hour [Chicago Tribune]