Sunday, 21 October, 2018


Amazon raises minimum wage for British and American staff

A employee of American electronic commerce company Amazon pushes a trolley with shipping items in Bad Hersfeld central Germany Amazon staff in the UK and US will receive a new minimum wage
Conrad Doyle | 02 October, 2018, 23:13

In a video posted to Twitter on Tuesday, Dave Clark-Amazon's senior vice president for worldwide operations and customer service-captured the moment he announced to California warehouse workers early Tuesday that Amazon has decided, in the face of intensifying political scrutiny, to raise its entry-level wage to $15 an hour for all of its 350,000 USA workers. That also extends to all Amazon subsidiaries such as Whole Foods. Amazon's hourly operations and customer service employees, some who already make $15 per hour, will also see a wage increase, the Seattle-based company said.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders campaigns for Democrat Greg Edwards, Pennsylvania's 7th District Congressional candidate, during a rally in Allentown, Pennsylvania, U.S. May 5, 2018. The net effect, the company says, will mean "significantly more total compensation" for the workers. Amazon employs over 575,000 people worldwide. The unemployment rate is 3.9 percent, near an 18-year low. "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.

Average hourly pay jumped 0.4 percent in August and increased 2.9 percent compared with a year earlier. That's the fastest annual gain since the Great Recession ended.

Bezos responded with a tweet of his own, and said he also hoped that other companies would raise their wages as well. Walmart raised its starting wages to $11 per hour this year. Walmart is now the largest private employer in the nation, with a workforce topping 1.5 million employees.

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United States department store chain Target announced in September it would raise wages to $15 an hour by 2020. Many business groups and conservative argue $15 an hour is too high, especially in lower cost-of-living places outside urban centers.

Amazon's move comes after widespread strikes by workers across Europe. The median salary Amazon pays its workers is $28,446, well below other tech titans who mostly employ higher-paying software engineers.

For example, a recent job posting for a warehouse position in Durham said starting pay was $10.50 per hour. The bill, which had no chance of passing and was created to draw attention to Sanders' Amazon criticism, would tax large companies for every dollar their workers receive in safety net benefits like food stamps.

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