Wednesday, 12 December, 2018


Amazon raises minimum wage for all US, UK employees

An employee packages a product at an Amazon Fulfillment center. Julio Cortez  AP An employee packages a product at an Amazon Fulfillment center. Julio Cortez AP
Conrad Doyle | 02 October, 2018, 17:27

Amazon isn't the only company making moves to raise wages for its employees.

The e-commerce behemoth has been hit by lawsuits in recent years alleging that it has used contract employees to skirt regulations and cut costs in the US and overseas.

As Amazon's value approaches $1 trillion, the company has come under fire from employees as well as politicians and workers' rights groups for their low wages and poor working conditions, particularly within their fulfillment centers across the United States. "We're excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us".

Amazon's market capitalization now stands near $1 trillion; it paid Bezos, its founder and CEO, $1.68 million previous year. The company is led by Jeff Bezos, who is the world's richest man with a net worth of $150 billion, according to Forbes.

Target announced in September that it would raise its minimum wage to $11 an hour and $15 by 2020.

Competition among companies for qualified workers is growing more intense, and they are increasingly willing to pay. That will include more than 250,000 full time employees and 100,000 seasonal workers. Amazon purchased Austin-based Whole Foods in June 2017.

Amazon made the announcement on a company blog this morning.

Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders has been vocal about low wages paid at USA corporations and has proposed legislation, nicknamed the "Bezos Bill", aimed at making large corporations pay workers more. The median salary Amazon pays its workers is $28,446, well below other tech titans who mostly employ higher-paying software engineers. In 29 states and Washington, D.C., it's higher than the federal rate.

"We intend to advocate for a minimum wage increase that will have a profound impact on the lives of tens of millions of people and families across this country", Jay Carney, senior vice president of Amazon global corporate affairs, said in a statement.

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