Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Amazon Raises Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour for All Employees

Amazon raises minimum wage for US and UK employees Amazon increases its minimum wage to $15
Elsie Buchanan | 03 October, 2018, 08:29

The wage increase breaks down to 250,000 regular workers, as well as more than 100,000 seasonal employees. In the US, Senator Bernie Sanders has publicly accused the company of underpaying its workers, and last month introduced a bill aimed to force Amazon to increase the amount it pays workers.

The increase pushes Amazon's lowest wage above that at Walmart Inc and Target Corp, but it is still $7 shy of the average for a non-management worker in transportation and warehousing in the USA as a whole.

"There has been little upward wage pressure in the economy, despite the fact that we've had relatively low unemployment since the Great Recession", he says. That's a negative 1.3 point differential over the first eight months of the year, compared to a 0.8 point drop from January to August 2017.

"The current rate. was set almost a decade ago", Jay Carney, senior vice president of Amazon Global Corporate Affairs, said in a statement. At the time, Bezos said the story "doesn't describe the Amazon I know". Despite its dominance, it shares a major problem with employers big and small: a tight labor market.

That has included several fatalities, including one in 2013 when a conveyer system crushed a temporary worker in a New Jersey warehouse, according to the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The change most likely means the company, which has repeatedly been attacked for its business practices by politicians and activist groups, is taking a hard look at what people are thinking and saying about it.

Amazon to raise minimum wage to $15 for USA employees
The move comes amid a national push to have fast-food restaurants and other blue-collar employers pay workers $15 an hour. Workers across the country have pushed for a $15 minimum wage as they have drawn attention to growing income inequality.


Bezos is the world's richest man by a large margin-he is worth around $165 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index-but previous year Amazon's median pay was just $28,446, which works out to around $14 an hour.

Amazon isn't the only company making moves to raise wages for its employees.

"Bezos has done today is not only enormously important for Amazon's hundreds of thousands of employees, it could well be a shot heard around the world", Sanders wrote on Twitter. "And I want to congratulate Mr. Bezos for doing exactly the right thing". The minimum wage grew by $3, from $8 to $11. He urged other corporations to follow the retail giant's lead. The pay raises are effective November 1.

"We will be working to gain Congressional support for an increase in the federal minimum wage". Townsend, 32, plans to demonstrate for higher pay on Thursday as part of the Fight for $15 movement. With Tuesday's move, Amazon has done that already.

Amazon's current minimum hourly wage starts at around $11 and analysts said the raise would cost it $1 billion or less annually and be offset by a recent $20 increase in the cost of Prime memberships.

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