Amazon raises minimum wage for all US, UK employees

Marcus Newton
October 3, 2018

Amazon recently came under fire over the issues of inadequate pay for its workers and the poor working conditions across its facilities. A higher wage may mean Amazon can outbid its competitors for the dwindling supply of available workers.

Sanders congratulated Bezos in a statement Tuesday for "doing exactly the right thing" and urged other companies to do the same. "We're excited about this, and also hope others will join in". With a healthy US economy, Americans looking for work have an increaseng number of job options, so Amazon has to find ways to entice people to join its company. Amazon shares fell close to 0.5% in the premarket before retracing losses to trade up 0.2% on Tuesday afternoon. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is the first name that comes to mind.

Coupled with the nationwide push to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, Amazon may have felt that sooner or later, it would have to increase wages anyway.

Amazon, whose value topped an awesome $1 trillion in September, has been under political and economic pressure to pay its employees more.

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According to the job site Glassdoor, Amazon's average wages at its fulfillment centres is US$13 an hour. It will rise to $15 an hour by 2020. The new minimum wage affects full-time, part-time, and even temporary employees.

Amazon has announced it is raising its minimum wage in the United States to $15, following sustained pressure from Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders. "(It's a) smart move to win consumers and lawmakers", said Gene Munster, a venture capitalist at Loup Ventures and long-time tech analyst.

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. The pay raises are effective November 1. Washington state has the highest minimum wage in the country at $11.50 per hour, and Seattle, like New York City, has implemented a $15 minimum.

The company - which offers online shoppers an unparalleled combination of ease, speedy delivery and choice that few can match - has faced stinging criticism of its labour practices, including gruelling working conditions and lack of job security.

"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.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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