Amazon raising minimum wage to $15 for all USA employees

Amazon raising minimum wage to $15 for all USA employees

Amazon raising minimum wage to $15 for all USA employees

The company said on Tuesday that it would increase minimum pay to $15 an hour starting next month for full-time, part-time and seasonal workers as well as those hired by temporary staffing agencies.

Sanders says he now looks forward to working with Bezos on their shared goal of raising the federal minimum hourly wage to $15 from its $7.25. In the USA, workers will receive $15 an hour from the start of November.

Target CEO Brian Cornell recently said the number of job applicants rose by 60 percent in the days after Target increased its minimum wage by $2, to $11 per hour, last year.

Amazon employees now receive support for job training and health coverage, as well as retirement benefits and paid parental leave, the company said.

Responding to the new policy Tuesday, Sanders said Bezos' previous wages for workers "were so low that many of them were forced to go on food stamps, Medicaid, subsidized housing and other governmental programs". Amazon employs over 575,000 people worldwide. Those increases apply to 17,000 Amazon employees and 20,000 seasonal workers. In the US, Senator Bernie Sanders has publicly accused the company of underpaying its workers, and last month introduced a bill aimed to force Amazon to increase the amount it pays workers.

An Amazon worker earning the $15 minimum wage would need to work about 298,325 hours, or 24 hours a day for about 34 years, just to earn what Bezos makes in one hour.

To which critics is Bezos referring? Sen. Bernie Sanders and others, Amazon stressed that the number reflects its employees' pay worldwide; the median salary for a full-time employee in the USA, the company said, is $34,123 - a figure it said should be compared to other retailers. "I'm in favour of higher wages", he told reporters said.

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Some companies have responded to the public pressure.

"This will lead to a general increase in minimal wages in all industries", he said.

The raise, announced Tuesday, covers all Amazon employees, including those at Whole Foods Market, which the company bought previous year.

Amazon, founded more than two decades ago, has expanded far beyond its bookseller beginnings. Despite its dominance, it shares a major problem with employers big and small: a tight labor market. Instead of waiting for state and local governments to gradually mandate higher pay, Amazon may have opted to get ahead of the curve.

"They'll gladly cross the street and take a better-paying job", said Marc Wulfraat, president of MWPVL, a supply chain consulting company. The median pay for an Amazon employee past year was $28,446 worldwide, according to government filings, which includes full-time, part-time and temporary workers. Employees at subsidiaries like Whole Foods, which the company bought previous year for almost $14 billion, will also receive the pay raise.

The move follows a bump in minimum wage pay by fellow mega-retailers Walmart and Target.

"It's really been incredible", Clark said. The federal rate has been stuck at $7.25 since 2009.

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