Amazon Increases Minimum Wage For Employees

Amazon boosting workers’ minimum wage to $15 an hour

Early Tuesday morning, Amazon announced plans to raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour for all us employees - including Whole Foods and warehouse workers - effective November 1.

Amazon now has more than 250,000 Amazon employees, and plans to hire more than 100,000 seasonal employees this holiday season. Target, which announced plans last year to raise hourly wages in steps to $15 by 2020 and now pays $12 an hour, said the number of job applicants rose 60 percent in the days after it increased its minimum by $2 to $11 per hour last year.

At first glance, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' statement accompanying the announcement suggests it's the former. The change applies to all "full-time, part-time, temporary (including those hired by agencies), and seasonal employees" who are based in the US.

The company reacted angrily in August to a campaign from Bernie Sanders, the USA senator from Vermont and former presidential candidate, who has been singling out Amazon for what he says are poor working conditions and wages for company warehouse employees.

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What's more, Amazon (amzn)-the second-largest private-sector employer in the US -is now lobbying the government to increase the federally-mandated minimum wage, set nine years ago, from $7.25 an hour.

But the company isn't stopping with raising its own minimum wage.

"While this is a step forward, it is a long way from where Amazon needs to be", said UNI Global Union, which represents retail employees. Facebook also boosted its minimum wage for its contracted workforce - janitorial staff, food-service workers and other similar staff - to $15 an hour, while Costco now pays $14 an hour.

However, the senator gave him props for "doing exactly the right thing" in upping pay rates.

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The wage hike comes at a time when Amazon needs to hire holiday workers amid the tightest job market in almost two decades, making it more hard to lure workers who have a lot more job choices than just a year ago.

"Without a rise in wages, Amazon would be placing itself at a disadvantage in the labor market", Saunders said.

It appears that the company is also eliminating incentive and productivity targets, and will increase the pay of those who were already making $15 an hour. Higher pay for workers is one way of dealing with that. The company also announced hourly wage increases for the United Kingdom. And many cities and states have passed legislation in recent years to increase the minimum wage.

Current pay for warehouse workers at Amazon is at least $12.25 an hour in Omaha, Nebraska, $13 in Baltimore and $16.50 in NY, according to recent job postings.

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"If you work for Amazon full time and you still can't make ends meet, that's a problem", said Democrat Representative Ro Khanna, lead House sponsor of the bill. The company's total value briefly eclipsed $1 trillion last month. "Even if it's rare or isolated, our tolerance for any such lack of empathy needs to be zero", he wrote.

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