Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Amazon raising minimum wage to $15 per hour starting next month

Amazon Employee Warehouse Parker Ignore Amazon’s Self Serving Calls to Raise the Federal Minimum Wage Ross D. Franklin AP3 Oct 2018
Laurie Berry | 02 October, 2018, 22:25

Amazon will be raising its minimum wage to $15 for all US employees, the company said in an announcement Tuesday.

The new floor, which will take effect November 1, applies to more than 250,000 employees who work in the company's network of warehouses, logistics depots and customer service call centers, as well as the more than 100,000 temporary hires the company brings on to handle the holiday season's uptick in orders. Several other companies, from Walmart (WMT) to FedEx (FDX), have to tap the same limited pool of seasonal workers this year, making it more than likely that Amazon needed to raise wages to staff its fulfillment centers anyway.

Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) congratulated Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Tuesday for announcing he would raise wages to $15 per hour for all Amazon employees. This move is likely an attempt to calm down lawmakers and get them to change tunes, as Sander's plan was to "give large, profitable employers a choice: Pay workers a living wage or pay for the public assistance programs their low-wage employees are forced to depend upon". The median pay for an Amazon employee past year was $28,446, according to government filings, which includes full-time, part-time and temporary workers. "Let me take this opportunity to thank the many hundreds of Amazon workers who contacted our office talking about the wages and working conditions that they were employed under". Employers are facing the tightest job market in almost two decades, making it more hard to lure workers who have a lot more choices about taking a job than just a year ago.

The move will benefit 250,000 workers in the USA, and 17,000 in the United Kingdom, and an estimated 20,000 seasonal workers.

Sanders introduced the bill in May 2017 with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Washington Democrat Sen.

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The company said it would increase its minimum wage for all full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees.

The British reporter James Bloodworth, who went undercover as a worker in an Amazon warehouse, told Business Insider that the wage increase was welcome news.

The move also comes as labor markets have been tightening, which theoretically should put upward pressure on wages across the board.

Mr Sanders credited Amazon on Tuesday for doing the "right thing" and called on other corporations in fast food, airlines and retail industries to follow the retailer in raising wages.

Also, Amazon will start advocating for a higher federal minimum wage, which has been $7.25 since 2009.

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