Published: Tue, October 02, 2018
Business | By Eloise Houston

Amazon Makes a Big Move on Minimum Wage

Amazon Makes a Big Move on Minimum Wage

Inc said on Tuesday it would raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour for its USA employees from next month, as it faces criticism for pay disparity from lawmakers and labor unions.

The company said the wage will benefit more than 250,000 of the company's employees, and another 100,000 seasonal employees. Amazon has also thrown down a gauntlet to its competitors, challenging it to match its wages, and has said it will push to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour. Seattle-based Amazon hasn't yet announced the exact date for this year's Amazon Prime Day, the e-commerce giant's big July sales promotion.

Workers sort arriving products at an Amazon Fulfilment Center in Tracy, California August 3, 2015. Its 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.

Last fall Target committed to giving its employees $15 per hour by the end of 2020.

The company's announcement comes just ahead of the holiday hiring season.

Amazon is also increasing wages in some areas outside the U.S. The company announced that the minimum wage will be 10.50 pounds an hour in London and 9.50 pounds in other parts of the UK.

Workers have been protesting against fast food chains like McDonald's Corp and demanding wage increases since 2012.

The company said it had "listened to its critics" and promised the changes would apply for all workers, including those on full-time and part-time contracts, as well as seasonal and temporary staff hired by recruitment agencies.

Other companies have also moved to raise wages, particularly in this tight labor market.

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