Amazon raises minimum wage to $15 for all employees

Wednesday, 03 Oct, 2018

Amid low pay and reports of poor working conditions, Amazon had always been a target of minimum wage activists and progressives.

Amazon.com Inc said on Tuesday it is raising its minimum wage to $15 per hour for all United States employees including full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees, starting 1 Novenber. Amazon purchased Austin-based Whole Foods in June 2017. The company was singled out by Senator Bernie Sanders last month, with Sanders proposing a bill that would have forced Amazon to repay any government assistance taken by Amazon workers to make up for sub-par wages.

Sanders did commit to working with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in his fight to raise the federal minimum wage. Bernie Sanders and others, Amazon stressed that the number reflects its employees' pay worldwide; the median salary for a full-time employee in the US, the company said, is $34,123 - a figure it said should be compared to other retailers. "I urge corporate leaders around the country to follow Mr. Bezos' lead".

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. "We're excited about this, and also hope others will join in".

Amazon's lowest paid U.S. workers will receive $15 an hour.

Neil Saunders, managing director of the consultancy GlobalData Retail, said that the move could help Amazon recruit workers.

In a 2015 article in The New York Times, employees described a "soulless, dystopian" work environment. "I'm in favour of higher wages", he told reporters said.

Amazon has announced that it will raise its hourly minimum wage to $15.

Amazon, which became the second company to cross $1 trillion market value last month, on average paid employees $34,123 previous year in the United States. "In the US, the average hourly wage for a full-time associate in our fulfillment centres, including cash, stock, and incentive bonuses, is over $US15/hour before overtime". It will rise to $15 an hour by 2020. "This applies not only to full-time workers, but part-time workers and temporary workers as well", Sanders said in a statement. "By joining together, speaking out and going on strike, we've convinced companies, politicians and the public that $15 an hour is the bare minimum anyone needs to survive", added Slaughter, among the workers participating in protests Tuesday afternoon in cities including Detroit and Flint, Michigan. "(It's a) smart move to win consumers and lawmakers", said Gene Munster, a venture capitalist at Loup Ventures and long-time tech analyst.

Amazon has faced political and economic pressure to raise pay for thousands of employees. Walmart and Target have raised their starting pay in the past couple of years.

The company has also been criticised for its employment practices, with complaints over working conditions in its warehouses. "Obviously, it is great news for Amazon workers. That is absurd", Sanders said.

Sanders claims many Amazon workers need food stamps to feed their families, though Amazon has disputed his figures.