Bernie Sanders praises Jeff Bezos on Amazon $15 minimum wage

03 October, 2018, 08:27 | Author: Manuel Hopkins
  • Amazon raises minimum wage for US and UK employees

Amazon workers in the U.S. now make around $US11 an hour That will jump to $US15 next month.

The change takes effect November 1 and applies to full-time, part-time and temporary workers.

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has said the online giant has "listened to critics" as he announced a pay rise for all its minimum wage-earning British and American employees.

Bezos also thanked Sanders for his words of support, noting that Amazon is "excited about this, and also [hopes] others will join in". "We intend to advocate for a minimum wage increase that will have a profound impact on the lives of tens of millions of people and families across this country", Carney said in the company's statement. It also adds to momentum for wages, which have been stagnant for 20 years. Workers outside of London will receive £9.50 an hour, up from £8 an hour.

The federal minimum wage in the United States is $7.25 an hour.

According to the job site Glassdoor, Amazon's average wages at its fulfillment centres is US$13 an hour. For one thing, companies are more beholden to their shareholders than their workers; profits are returned to people who own stock in the company, not who keep it running.

What's more, Amazon (amzn)-the second-largest private-sector employer in the USA -is now lobbying the government to increase the federally-mandated minimum wage, set nine years ago, from $7.25 an hour.

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From state to state, the minimum wage varies widely.

Workers have been protesting against fast food chains like McDonald's Corp and demanding wage increases since 2012 but conditions at Amazon's warehouses, distribution centers and for its couriers have been drawing media attention and criticism for some time.

In addition to seasonal workers, the new minimum wage also will apply to all temporary and part-time employees, including those hired by agencies, and to workers at the high-end grocery store chain Whole Foods, which Amazon acquired previous year, the company said. The critiques of Amazon as a Dickensian sweatshop for warehouse workers aren't new, but Amazon's growing size and power do make it more exposed to the impression that it's a corporate villain perched atop an army of low-wage workers.

"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. In April, Amazon revealed that the median annual pay for its workers around the world was just $28,466.

On September 5, Sanders even introduced legislation to the US Senate that would impose a 100% tax on government assistance received by workers at companies with more than 500 employees.

Walmart raised its starting pay to $11 an hour earlier this year and said it has seen lower turnover among its employees.

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