Markets

Amazon bumps minimum wage to $15 an hour

Amazon bumps minimum wage to $15 an hour

Amazon said in a press release Tuesday that more than 250,000 of its half a million workers would benefit from the wage increase, which would take effect in November.

Alongside increasing the minimum wage for its own employees, Amazon is pledging to work with policymakers in Washington D.C.to raise the federal minimum wage.

One of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos's harshest critics, Sen.

Bezos also thanked Sanders for his words of support, noting that Amazon is "excited about this, and also [hopes] others will join in". "The current rate of $7.25 was set almost a decade ago", Senior Vice President of Amazon Global Corporate Affairs Jay Carney said in a statement. Fortunately, Amazon is also promising these employees a pay raise to show that they are still valued. Facebook also boosted its minimum wage for its contracted workforce - janitorial staff, food-service workers and other similar staff - to $15 an hour, while Costco now pays $14 an hour. "I hope very much that other corporate leaders around the country will follow his example".

And while the new minimum wage is more than twice the federal minimum wage of $7.25, the new total is nowhere near what Bezos makes an hour.

His call came as Amazon announced that it would raise the company's minimum wage to $15 an hour. This past spring, it raised its starting hourly pay for its workers to $12.

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Target's CEO Brian Cornell recently said that the number of job applicants rose by 60 per cent in the days after Target increased its minimum wage by $2 to $11 per hour a year ago.

Amazon and Bezos this year have been criticized repeatedly for the wages Amazon pays warehouse workers, who make up the bulk of Amazon's workforce.

Another reason for the wage hike could be to deter the efforts of Whole Foods employees trying to unionize, industry watchers say.

The minimum wage hike at Amazon comes as it is searching for a home for its second United States headquarters, which will employ as many as 50,000 people.

Amazon has been under scrutiny by critics for less than ideal working conditions and has had its share of horror stories written by former employees. It has faced stinging criticism of its labour practices, including grueling working conditions and lack of job security. Last month it became the second publicly traded company to be worth $1 trillion, hot on the heels of Apple.

According to a statement released today by the online retail giant, the wage increase will affect more than 350,000 workers. At the time, Bezos said the story "doesn't describe the Amazon I know".


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