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Amazon to raise minimum wage to $15 for USA employees

02 October, 2018, 22:02 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
  • Amazon will raise company's minimum wage to $15 for all US employees

"We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead", said Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder and CEO.

Amazon's employment practices, especially for those working on the company's numerous front lines, have frequently been criticized.

The federal minimum wage for the U.S.is now $7.25, though most states have higher minimums. Not to mention the company fought Seattle's Head Tax, that would have seen its tax liability increase, albeit slightly, to offset issues around affordable housing.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon chief executive, said he was "excited" to announce the changes, which he said would impact more than 37,000 employees across the United Kingdom, "resulting in higher pay for them and their families". The median salary Amazon pays its workers is $28,446, well below other tech titans who mostly employ higher-paying software engineers.

Average hourly pay jumped 0.4 percent in August and increased 2.9 percent compared with a year earlier. The new wage will benefit more than 250,000 Amazon employees, plus over 100,000 seasonal employees who will be hired for the holidays. "The current rate of $7.25 was set almost a decade ago", said Jay Carney, senior vice president of global corporate affairs for the company.

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California announced in October 2017 it would raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2023.

The company also said it would press for a change to the USA minimum wage level. Many business groups and conservative argue $15 an hour is too high, especially in lower cost-of-living places outside urban centers.

Workers have been protesting against fast food chains like McDonald's Corp and demanding wage increases since 2012.

Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, said Tuesday that while Amazon's wage hike is a politically savvy move, it's also a change made out of economic necessity.

Amazon is also increasing wages in some areas outside the U.S. The company announced that the minimum wage will be 10.50 pounds an hour in London and 9.50 pounds in other parts of the UK.

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