Amazon announced Tuesday it would raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour for all its employees, a move that comes after the company faced harsh criticism for paying its workers too little. Amazon said it would increase its minimum wage for all full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees. Amazon said the change would benefit more than 17,000 Amazon employees and more than 20,000 seasonal workers who will be hired over Christmas. The pay raise also applies to Whole Foods employees and all other subsidiaries.
The increase pushes Amazon's lowest wage above that at Walmart Inc and Target Corp, but it is still $7 shy of the average for a non-management worker in transportation and warehousing in the United States as a whole.
Jay Carney, senior vice president of Amazon Global Corporate Affairs, also revealed that Amazon will be lobbying to raise the current $7.25 minimum wage.
The wage hike also comes at a time 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.More news: Nobel Physics Prize Awarded to Trio for Laser Work
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Critics of the company's compensation practices have included Sen.
Amazon has announced plans to raise the company's minimum wage in the USA to $US15, following sustained pressure from Democratic Sen.
In another change, Amazon will phase out its Restricted Stock Unit program for order fulfillment and customer service employees who are paid hourly. Starting wages were lower, according to Amazon's own job postings, with job listings at more than 80 facilities so far this year indicating average starting pay of about $12.75 an hour, and as low as $10 an hour.
Amazon and Bezos this year have been criticized repeatedly for the wages Amazon pays warehouse workers, who make up the bulk of Amazon's workforce. "Without a rise in wages, Amazon would be placing itself at a disadvantage in the labor market", Saunders observes, adding that this is particularly true as the holiday season approaches.
The new Amazon UK rate is also higher than the wage level recommended by the Living Wage Foundation of £8.75, or £10.20 in London. Seattle-based Amazon hasn't yet announced the exact date for this year's Amazon Prime Day, the e-commerce giant's big July sales promotion.