Wage inflation on the agenda after Amazon gives workers a big raise

Andrew Cummings
October 2, 2018

The company said the wage will benefit more than 250,000 of the company's employees, and another 100,000 seasonal employees. This minimum wage will apply to all Whole Foods employees as well.

Amazon says that they will also begin advocating for an increase in the federal minimum wage. "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.

Amazon announced that all its USA workers will get a raise to $15 from as low as $10 per hour. Starting pay is $10 an hour at a warehouse in Austin, Texas, and $13.50 an hour in Robbinsville, New Jersey.

In two decades the company expanded far beyond its bookseller beginnings, combining its world-spanning retail operation with less flashy but very profitable advertising and cloud computing businesses.

The increase comes a day after the United Kingdom chancellor, Philip Hammond, promised Britain would press ahead with a new digital tax on internet companies. That's the fastest annual gain since the Great Recession ended.

Sanders claims many Amazon workers need food stamps to feed their families, though Amazon has disputed his figures. Workers hired by temp agencies will also receive the $15-per-hour wage. The new pay floor takes effect at the start of November.

One of the most prominent critics has been US Sen.

Amazon shares, trading lower before the company announced the wage hike, were down less than 0.3 percent at $1,997.75 in trading before the bell. Bernie Sanders and others, Amazon stressed that the number reflects its employees' pay worldwide; the median salary for a full time employee in the US, the company said, is $34,123 - a figure it said should be compared to other retailers.

Last month, Amazon said that the average hourly wage for a full-time associate in its fulfillment centers was already more than $15 per hour.

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