Amazon boosting workers' minimum wage to $15 an hour

The Latest: Amazon lifts minimum wage to $15

The title of the proposed legislation took aim at Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos: the Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies (BEZOS) Act. And in August, nonprofit outlet The New Food Economy reported that thousands of Amazon employees in the USA -including one-third of the company's Arizona workers-were enrolled in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP).

Amazon's new pay rate includes workers who are hired through temp agencies and subsidiaries in the U.S. The company has more than 575,000 employees worldwide. This wage increase will apply to not only the 250,000 full-time employees that the company has, but also to the 100,000 seasonal employees they hire each year prior to the holidays.

The company said on Tuesday it would now lobby in Washington for an increase in the federal minimum wage and urged its competitors to follow its lead, as the union-led "Fight for Fifteen" movement pushes for higher remuneration.

In announcing the minimum wage increase, a company spokesman predicted it will "have a profound impact on the lives of tens of millions of people and families across this country".

Amazon employees will continue to receive company benefits, along with the pay increase. The retail giant, run by the world's richest man, was criticized earlier this year after revealing its workers' median pay was $28,446.

They added that "Amazon's public policy team will also begin advocating for an increase in the federal minimum wage".

Amazon's average wages at its fulfillment centres is US$13 an hour.

Even though Amazon would prefer to keep employee retention as high as possible, a Career Choice program pays for 95 percent of tuition in high-demand fields that Amazon needs more skilled employees in.




Pay for warehouse workers at Amazon can vary by location.

Amazon, which became the second company after Apple to cross $1 trillion in market value last month, now pays around $11 per hour.

Sanders said it's no secret he has been a critic of Bezos for his treatment of workers while at the same time being "the wealthiest person on Earth".

The Obama administration had called for raising the minimum wage to $10.10, but the proposal went nowhere during an era of divided government.

The company has a history of complaints about gruelling workplace conditions and lower wages, and has had to deal with lawsuits, picketing and issues with management tactics.

Bezos via Twitter thanked Sanders for the acknowledgement and said he hoped other companies would join in.

A Freedom of Information request to ambulance services from the GMB Union found ambulances had been called 600 times to attend Amazon warehouses across the United Kingdom in the past three years.

The move, announced Tuesday, applies to all full-time, part-time and seasonal employees across the USA, as well as temporary staff, even those retained through agencies.

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