Amazon raises minimum wage to $15, urges rivals to follow

02 October, 2018, 21:01 | Author: Kevin Carter
  • An employee packages a product at an Amazon Fulfillment center. Julio Cortez  AP

Amazon says it is offering raises to all hourly employees in its USA warehouses and call centers, a move that follows criticism of the pay and working conditions for the retail giant's lowest-paid workers.

That could be good news for numerous Internet giant's workers across North Carolina. Bernie Sanders, who last month introduced the "Stop BEZOS Act", which would require big corporations like Amazon and Walmart to pay the government for food stamps, public housing, Medicaid and other assistant programs that their workers use. Starting pay is $10 an hour at a warehouse in Austin, Texas, and $13.50 an hour in Robbinsville, New Jersey.

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

Amazon has more than 575,000 employees globally.

The increase comes a day after the United Kingdom chancellor, Philip Hammond, promised Britain would press ahead with a new digital tax on internet companies. "The current rate of $7.25 was set almost a decade ago", Jay Carney, senior vice president of Amazon global corporate affairs, said in a statement.

Despite its domination, it shares one potential hurdle that is growing higher for nearly all employers big and small: a tightening labor market. Some employees who already make $15 per hour will also see a pay increase.

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Competition among companies for qualified workers is growing more intense, and they are increasingly willing to pay.

Workers across the country have pushed for a $15 minimum wage as they have drawn attention to growing income inequality.

On Tuesday, fast food workers in MI are going to kick off a series of protests in the Midwest and elsewhere around the country in support of unions and a $15 minimum age.

Amazon shares, trading lower before the company announced the wage hike, were down less than 0.3 percent at $1,997.75 in trading before the bell.

Amazon has announced it is raising its minimum wage in the U.S. to $15, following sustained pressure from Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders.

"We will be working to gain congressional support for an increase in the federal minimum wage".


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