Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Amazon raises minimum wage for U.S. and United Kingdom employees

Amazon will raise company's minimum wage to $15 for all US employees Amazon raises wages for lower-paid workers
Lloyd Bates | 02 October, 2018, 21:01

"We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead", said Amazon chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos.

Amazon says it will also lobby to have the federal minimum wage increased from its current $7.25 per hour.

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

An employee packs a box at the Amazon.com Inc. fulfillment center in Robbinsville, New Jersey, U.S., on Thursday, June 7, 2018.

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".

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The $15 per hour wage will include all types of employee: full-time, part-time, seasonal and temporary. Vermont Senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has charged that Amazon pays its workers such a low wage that many of them have to apply for public assistance. Some employees who already make $15 per hour will also see a pay increase. New York state announced similar measures for New York City residents as part of its 2016-17 budget, with large companies - more than 11 people - mandated to raise their wages to $15 by the end of 2018.

The new minimum wage will kick in November 1, covering more than 250,000 current employees and 100,000 seasonal holiday employees. "The current rate of $7.25 was set almost a decade ago", said Jay Carney, senior vice-president of Amazon global corporate affairs.

The company's announcement comes just ahead of the holiday hiring season. The proposed law says companies that don't pay a living wage should have to reimburse the tax authorities for the federal benefits paid out to their low-wage workers.

Employees of Whole Foods Market and all other Amazon subsidiaries are included in the wage increase.

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