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Amazon to raise minimum wage to $15 for U.S. employees

Amazon to raise minimum wage to $15 for U.S. employees

Postby smix » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:26 pm

Amazon to raise minimum wage to $15 for U.S. employees
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-amaz ... SKCN1MC15Z
Category: Business
Published: October 2, 2018

Description: (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc said on Tuesday it would raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour for its U.S. employees from next month as it faces criticism for pay disparity from lawmakers and labor unions. The company also said it would lobby in Washington for an increase in the federal minimum wage and urge other competitors to raise wages - a call that comes in the backdrop of the “Fight for Fifteen” movement, a union-led push for a $15 minimum wage. Amazon, which became the second company to cross $1 trillion market value last month, on average paid employees $34,123 last year in the United States. The company is led by Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man with a net worth of nearly $150 billion, according to Forbes. “We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead,” Bezos said. “We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.” Amazon’s current minimum hourly wage starts at $11, a source close to the company said. Retailer Target Corp raised its minimum hourly wage last year to $11 and promised to raise it to $15 an hour by the end of 2020, while the world’s largest retailer Walmart raised its minimum wage to $11 an hour earlier this year. Higher wages could further pressure margins at retailers that are already getting squeezed by higher transportation and raw materials costs. Amazon’s move will cost it $1 billion or less annually and the recent $20 price increase for Prime memberships would generate enough to offset the wage hike, Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said. Workers have been protesting against fast food chains like McDonald’s Corp and demanding wage increases since 2012. U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-described Democratic socialist, has been vocal about the pay disparity at U.S. corporations and has proposed a bill aimed at making large corporations pay workers more. “The pay increase puts Amazon ahead of the curve when it comes to providing its employee a living wage,” D.A. Davidson analyst Thomas Forte said, adding that the move will help it to attract employees as it opens more brick-and-mortar retail stores. The company, which bought Whole Foods Market in a $13.7 billion deal last year, opened a general store in New York City in September after launching a few small grocery shops known as Amazon Go in Seattle and Chicago. Amazon said it would increase its minimum wage for all full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees. The new minimum wage will benefit more than 250,000 employees in the United States, as well as over 100,000 seasonal employees who will be hired at Amazon sites across the country this holiday, the company said in a statement. Amazon also raised its minimum wage in Britain to 10.50 pounds ($13.59) an hour for all employees in the London area and 9.50 pounds an hour for staff in all other parts of the country, effective from Nov. 1. “We will be working to gain Congressional support for an increase in the federal minimum wage. The current rate of $7.25 was set nearly a decade ago,” said Jay Carney, senior vice president of Amazon global corporate affairs. Amazon shares were marginally down at $1,998.50 in trading before the bell.
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After facing criticism, Amazon announces it will boost minimum wage to $15 for all workers

Postby smix » Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:06 pm

After facing criticism, Amazon announces it will boost minimum wage to $15 for all workers
The Washington Post

URL: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business ... criticism/
Category: Business
Published: October 2, 2018

Description: Amazon.com announced Tuesday that it will raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour for all employees, a move that comes after the tech giant faced harsh criticism for how much it pays its workers. The pay increase will affect 250,000 Amazon employees and 100,000 seasonal employees hired at Amazon sites during the holiday season. It will affect full-time and part-time workers, as well as Whole Foods Market employees, and will take effect Nov. 1. “We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do and decided we want to lead,” Amazon chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos said in a statement. “We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.” Bezos also owns The Washington Post. Amazon has faced criticism over the years for what some say are poor working conditions in its warehouses, the hubs the company has set up nationwide for rapid delivery of online purchases. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has lashed out at Amazon recently, saying the company does not pay a “living wage” and leaves some dependent on safety-net programs such as food stamps and Medicaid. He attacked Bezos, the world’s richest person, and introduced legislation called the “Stop BEZOS Act” to tax Amazon and other large employers to recoup the cost of public benefits paid to employees. Amazon disputed the criticism. President Trump also has raised concerns about Amazon and Bezos. In its announcement Tuesday, Amazon said it would lobby for an increase in the federal minimum wage, which has been $7.25 for a decade. The online giant is the country’s second-largest private employer, behind Walmart. Last month it became the country’s second publicly traded company to be valued at more than $1 trillion. “We will be working to gain congressional support for an increase in the federal minimum wage. The current rate of $7.25 was set nearly a decade ago,” said Jay Carney, senior vice president of global corporate affairs for the company. “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.” The Obama administration had called for raising the minimum wage to $10.10, but the proposal went nowhere during an era of divided government. Many business groups and conservatives argue that $15 an hour is too high, especially in places outside urban centers that have a lower cost of living. Other companies also have moved to raise wages, particularly in this tight labor market. Target announced earlier this year that it would raise its minimum wage to $12 an hour with a plan to increase it to $15 by 2020. Walmart raised its minimum wage to $11 in January. Facebook also boosted its minimum wage for its contracted workforce — janitorial staff, food-service workers and other similar staff — to $15 an hour, while Costco now pays $14 an hour. Amazon said on Tuesday that all employees, including those who already make $15 an hour, will receive pay increases as a result of its new policy. The Post reported last week that Amazon had begun giving raises of 25 cents to 55 cents an hour to workers at its fulfillment centers nationwide. The median Amazon worker was paid $28,446 last year, according to company filings, which translates to about $13.68 an hour.
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