Amazon raises minimum wage to $15 for U.S. employees
Oct 03 2018
Amazon is encouraging other large U.S. employers to follow its lead and said it would lobby lawmakers for an increase in the federal minimum wage, now at only $7.25. Those workers now receive shares of stock if they meet certain conditions.
Amazon has faced political and economic pressure to raise pay for thousands of employees.
"Jeff Bezos has become much more wealthy over the past decade, but his workers haven't", she said.
The company had recently been the target of criticism from Senator Bernie Sanders, who said Amazon doesn't pay its lower-level employees a fair wage. Meanwhile, Amazon workers skip bathroom breaks in order to meet their grueling work targets. "Being in front of 700 people who got to experience that increase and knowing what that's going to mean for them and their families this holiday season ー [it] was a really special moment".
After the $28,446 figure drew criticism from Sen.
The American retailer will pay United Kingdom employees £10.50 an hour in London, while workers in the rest of the country will receive £9.50.
The title of the proposed legislation took aim at Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos: the Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies (BEZOS) Act. Bezos is listed by Forbes as the world's richest man with a net worth of almost $150 billion. It includes Whole Foods employees. Amazon employs over 575,000 people worldwide.
Sanders called the move "an important step forward". More than 37,000 employees, including seasonal workers, will be affected by the change.
In a brief news conference this morning, Sanders said he wanted to "offer credit where credit is due". "And I want to congratulate Mr. Bezos for doing exactly the right thing".
But David Autor, a professor and labor economist at MIT, tells NPR he thinks it's too early to declare victory on that front. He adds that the wage hike won't be "the domino that knocked over the entire rack of dominoes".
"To draw workers away from where they now work, you have to offer them a better deal", said Sylvia Allegretto, an economist and co-chair at the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics at the University of California at Berkeley.
The company said the salary increase, set to take effect November 1, would affect more than 250,000 full- and part-time employees in addition to more than 100,000 seasonal staff members.
The UK's National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage is now £7.83 an hour. You're getting a pay rise! The unemployment rate is 3.9 per cent, near an 18-year low.
"Good for them. I'm in favor of higher wages", he told reporters.