Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Amazon will now pay $15 minimum wage across the US

Jonathan Weiss Jonathan Weiss
Orlando Vargas | 02 October, 2018, 22:25

Amazon wants people to know it supports higher wages for workers at other companies too.

Amazon has announced that it will raise its minimum wage to $15 for all its workers. Overall, more than 250,000 Amazon workers will get a pay raise from this, in addition to more than 100,000 seasonal employees that the company hires at various times throughout the year.

"It is no secret that I have been a harsh critic of the wage and employment practices of Amazon and its owner Jeff Bezos", Sanders said at a news conference on Capitol Hill. "We're excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us". 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.

Amazon has raised the pay of thousands of workers in the United Kingdom and USA, after coming under increasing fire from campaigners over its low wages.

The last hiring figures from the U.S. Commerce Department showed that in August, the pace of hiring rose again and wages grew at their fastest pace in nine years.

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In the UK, Amazon said, the minimum wage will be 10.50 pounds an hour in London and 9.50 pounds in other areas. The critiques of Amazon as a Dickensian sweatshop for warehouse workers aren't new, but Amazon's growing size and power do make it more exposed to the impression that it's a corporate villain perched atop an army of low-wage workers. The legislation would mandate that companies with more than 500 employees-like Amazon-foot the bill for government benefits their workers receive.

The company didn't say how many workers were making less than $15 an hour.

The online retailer made the announcement Tuesday.

Amazon did not expand on who these critics were, but the company is distancing itself from the suggestion that the salary rise is in response to Sanders' pressure.

For those hourly workers, Amazon plans to replace its RSU grant program with a direct stock purchase plan by the end of 2019. Chukumba estimates that the wage increase will cost Amazon an incremental $900 million to $1.8 billion a year, or less than 0.7% of the company's 2019 estimated sales of $287 billion.

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