Amazon increases USA minimum wage to $15 after criticism

Jermaine Castillo
October 3, 2018

This is what the political revolution is all about: today 350,000 Amazon workers found out they are getting a raise to at least $15 an hour. There are now 250,000 people that work for Amazon with plans to hire another 100,000 for the upcoming holiday season.

"Amazon isn't doing this because they're nice", investigative journalist Ken Klippensteinnotedin response to Amazon's announcement of the wage hikes, which will go into effect November 1.

In Amazon's statement Tuesday, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said that the company listened to critics and "decided we want to lead". The books-and-everything-else biz announced a new minimum wage of £10.50 for the London area and £9.50 for the rest of the United Kingdom, starting in November. It also adds to momentum for wages, which have been stagnant for 20 years.

Visit HERE to find out more about the new Amazon $15 wage.

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A higher federal minimum wage could intensify pressures on smaller businesses that don't have the financial resources that Amazon has to raise pay significantly. The mean hourly wage for non-management workers in transportation and warehousing is $21.94.

Amazon has more than 3,400 full-time employees across its fulfillment centers in Breinigsville and Palmer Township - a figure that doesn't include the upcoming bulge ahead of the holiday season.

As competition among companies for qualified workers grows more intense, they are increasingly willing to pay more wages. "The current rate of $7.25 was set almost a decade ago", said Jay Carney, senior vice president of global corporate affairs for the company. "Let me thank the many hundreds of Amazon workers who contacted my office and the Fight for $15 movement which has been leading this effort for years".

After years of sluggish pay gains, the economy may be starting to work for America's low-wage workers.

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Sanders claims many Amazon workers need food stamps to feed their families, though Amazon has disputed his figures.

With US unemployment now flirting with historic lows, employers across the country are having difficulty finding enough qualified workers to fill open positions. But even more significantly, his pledge to engage in advocating for higher wage standards shows remarkable and rare leadership.

At the same time, Storch said, the wage increase will widen the gap between the healthy retailers, such as Amazon, Walmart and Target, and the struggling ones, which won't be able to afford to compete on salary. Currently, the median annual income for an Amazon employee is just under $28,500. "Amazon's announcement that it was raising starting wages for employees to $15/hour, as well as other pay increases, is positive for the company despite the incremental costs that will result", Moody's Lead Retail Analyst Charlie O'Shea stated, thinking that the adage "you get what you pay for" applies to Amazon's employee base as well.

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