Amazon raises minimum wage to $15 for all employees

Andrew Cummings
October 2, 2018

Amazon has about 250,000 employees in the United States and plans to hire about 100,000 more for the upcoming holiday season.

Employees: 20,500 full-time jobs created in Texas and it's still hiring here.

Amazon on Tuesday said it will raise its minimum wage to $15 in the USA, a response to mounting pressure over its wages and treatment of its warehouse workers.

Amazon has been criticised for years over the state of working conditions in its 140 fulfillment centres around the world, including extensive and invasive security checks and being prevented from using the toilet. One of its harshest critics is U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders. Currently, the median annual income for an Amazon employee is just under $28,500.

Amazon's average wages at its fulfillment centres is US$13 an hour
LEON NEAL GETTY IMAGESAmazon's average wages at its fulfillment centres is US$13 an hour

Sanders has previously slammed Bezos and Amazon for engaging in what the Vermont Independent says are exploitative employment practices.

Amazon employs more than 1,000 people at its fulfilment centre in Kingston Park, in Fletton.

At 3.9%, the US unemployment rate is at its lowest since 2000-just in time for the holidays, the busiest of the year for Amazon.

Bezos responded with a tweet of his own, and said he also hoped that other companies would raise their wages as well. Walmart is now the largest private employer in the nation, with a workforce topping 1.5 million employees.

Today, in a surprise move, the Seattle, Washington-based company announced that they are raising their minimum hourly wage to $15.

The company has also raised its minimum wage to £10.50 ($13.62) in London and £9.50 ($12.32) in the rest of England. This estimation of Bezos' hourly wage is being used for the sake of comparison.

Bloodworth took issue, however, with other ways Amazon treats workers.

Amazon opened a 2.4-million-square-foot warehouse south of Orlando International Airport in August and has been furiously hiring workers to get to its 1,500 employee goal. It was offering at least $12.25 an hour in Omaha, Nebraska, $13 in Baltimore and $16.50 in NY, according to recent job postings. Last month it became the second publicly traded company to be worth $1 trillion, hot on the heels of Apple.

But corporate profits in the US are booming, and that wealth isn't being spread out almost fast enough for many. In the past four quarters the company has reported, Amazon earned a record $6.3 billion on $208 billion in sales. It also applies to Whole Foods workers.

In 2017, the average Amazon employee made $30,000. This likely is a move on Amazon's part to prevent the scrutiny of Congress and an attempt to beat them to the punch.

"As someone who has introduced a $15 an hour federal minimum wage, I very much look forward to working with him in this area", Sanders said.

Other reports by iNewsToday