Amazon has been under scrutiny by critics for less than ideal working conditions and has had its share of horror stories written by former employees. It also adds to momentum for wages, which have been stagnant for 20 years. People already earning $15 will also get a bump. In the United States, workers will receive $15 an hour from the start of November.
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It's unclear how the minimum wage increase will bolster Amazon's median compensation for its workforce, but it's safe to say it's headed up.
According to the job site Glassdoor, Amazon's average wages at its fulfillment centres is US$13 an hour. Amazon has been less forthcoming about how it pays contract and part-time workers, but it's likely less.
The company reacted angrily in August to a campaign from Bernie Sanders, the USA senator from Vermont and former presidential candidate, who has been singling out Amazon for what he says are poor working conditions and wages for company warehouse employees.
President Donald Trump promoted December's sweeping tax cuts by saying they would boost worker pay and the White House has pointed to bonuses many employers have since offered as evidence of increased prosperity. "The current rate of $7.25 was set almost a decade ago", Jay Carney, senior vice president of Amazon Global Corporate Affairs and former Barack Obama press secretary, also said in the post. Amazon said it plans to hire more than 100,000 holiday workers, who will pack and ship boxes in its more than 100 warehouses around the country.
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The online retailing giant, which has several huge depots in Doncaster, is raising pay for hundreds of thousands of workers in the U.S. and the UK.
Amazon's decision to open its wallet a bit should welcomed by workers, but there's a lot left to do to reduce the growing income and wealth gap in America and the ratio of CEO-to-worker pay, at 312-to-1 a year ago, up from 58-to-1 in 1989 and 20-to-1 in 1965. The company also said it would lobby to increase the federal minimum wage, which has been stuck at $7.25 an hour since 2009.
Walmart raised its starting pay to $11 an hour earlier this year and said it has seen lower turnover among its employees.
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