Amazon will raise company's minimum wage to $15 for all U.S. employees

Devin Lawrence
October 2, 2018

"We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead", said Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos in the statement.

Last fall Target committed to giving its employees $15 per hour by the end of 2020.

Amazon's employment practices, especially for those working on the company's numerous front lines, have frequently been criticized.

Amazon isn't the only company making moves to raise wages for its employees. Not to mention the company fought Seattle's Head Tax, that would have seen its tax liability increase, albeit slightly, to offset issues around affordable housing. Employees at Whole Foods, which Amazon now owns, will get the same pay hike.

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.

Amazon said 17,000 British employees would benefit from the rises, as well as 250,000 United States workers. Its starting pay is $10 an hour at a warehouse in Austin, Texas, and $13.50 an hour in Robbinsville, New Jersey.

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The $15 per hour wage will include all types of employee: full-time, part-time, seasonal and temporary. And in January Walmart raised its starting wages to $11 per hour. Disney reached a deal with its unions to pay a minimum of $15 an hour at Disneyland in California in 2019 and at Disney World in Florida by 2021.

Jay Carney, Amazon's senior vice president for global corporate affairs, pledged that the company would advocate a minimum wage increase "that will have a profound impact on the lives of tens of millions of people and families across this country".

Amazon made the announcement on a company blog this morning.

Amazon, which became just the second company ever to cross $1 trillion in worth as company earlier this year, said it plans to push the federal government to increase the minimum.

Workers have been protesting against fast food chains like McDonald's Corp and demanding wage increases since 2012 but conditions at Amazon's warehouses, distribution centers and for its couriers have been drawing media attention and criticism for some time.

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