Amazon hikes pay for U.S. and United Kingdom workers following criticism

Posted October 03, 2018

The federal rate has been stuck at $7.25 since 2009.

"We have seen a labour market that is becoming better and better for job seekers, and harder and harder for employers", said Martha Gimbel, director of economic research and job site Indeed.

The new minimum wage will take effect November 1 and apply to all full-time, part-time, seasonal and temporary employees, including those hired by agencies. Workers at Whole Foods, which Amazon owns, will also get the same pay increase, according to the Associated Press.

Amazon employees will continue to receive company benefits, along with the pay increase.

The company - which offers online shoppers a combination of ease, speedy delivery and choice that few can match - has faced criticism of its labor practices, including grueling working conditions and lack of job security.

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Clark said that while Amazon listened to its critics, the "Stop BEZOS Act" did not factor into the company's decision.

Amazon, which became the second company to cross $1 trillion market value last month, on average paid employees $34,123 past year in the United States. Amazon employs over 575,000 people worldwide.

The pay increase also extends to London and the UK. That's the fastest annual gain since the Great Recession ended.

Since August, Sanders had waged an aggressive shame campaign against the company, the second largest employer in the United States, for paying wages low enough that some workers qualify for safety net benefits such as food stamps.

The e-commerce giant has long described its pay as competitive with other retailers.

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Bezos responded to Sanders on Twitter, thanking the senator and expressing hope that other companies will make similar policy changes. Target and Walmart have made similar moves. Higher pay for workers is one way of dealing with that. Fifty-two percent of voters surveyed by Pew Research in 2017 said they were in favor of increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. With Tuesday's move, Amazon has done that already.

Inside Amazon's Prime Now warehouse within a Manhattan highrise. That comes to $13.68 an hour.

Amazon ($AMZN) announced Tuesday the change will affect more than 250,000 employees, more than 100,000 seasonal holiday workers, and associates employed by temp agencies.

In two decades the company expanded far beyond its bookseller beginnings, combining its world-spanning retail operation with less flashy but very profitable advertising and cloud computing businesses.

The company, which is worth around $1 trillion, has also been attacked by campaigners and governments over the amount of tax it pays.

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"Good for them. I'm in favor of higher wages", he told reporters.