Published: Wed, October 03, 2018
Business | By Eloise Houston

Amazon's new $15 minimum wage vs. Jeff Bezos' hourly earnings

Amazon's new $15 minimum wage vs. Jeff Bezos' hourly earnings

On Tuesday, however, Sanders said Bezos had expressed interest in joining the fight to raise the federal minimum wage.

As Amazon's value approaches $1 trillion, the company has come under fire from employees as well as politicians and workers' rights groups for their low wages and poor working conditions, particularly within their fulfillment centers across the United States. Amazon said the change would benefit more than 17,000 Amazon employees and more than 20,000 seasonal workers who will be hired over Christmas.

Amazon also is encouraging other large USA employers to follow its lead and said it would lobby U.S. legislators for an increase in the federal minimum wage, now at only $7.25. Their public policy is now also advocating for an increase to the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour. The company was singled out by Senator Bernie Sanders last month, with Sanders proposing a bill that would have forced Amazon to repay any government assistance taken by Amazon workers to make up for sub-par wages.

In response to Sanders and other critics, Amazon had previously said employees in its warehouses were paid an average of $15 if stock-based compensation and bonuses were included, without breaking out their underlying hourly wage.

Amazon said it will increase the minimum wage for its workers to $15 in the USA, £10.50 in London and £9.50 in the ret of the UK. With Tuesday's move, Amazon has done that already. The London Living Wage is 10.20 per hour.

Amazon, founded more than two decades ago, has expanded far beyond its bookseller beginnings.

Amazon, which became the second company after Apple to cross $US1 trillion in market value last month, now pays around $US11 per hour.

After weeks of hammering Amazon for its treatment of its warehouse workers, U.S. Sen. Mr Bezos said he encouraged the company's competitors to increase their own minimum wages.

The company has also been criticised for its employment practices, with complaints over working conditions in its warehouses. As Reason's Zuri Davis reported, the avowed democratic socialist has hammered Amazon in recent months for not paying its workers enough.

Sanders predicted that other companies including Wal-Mart and McDonald's would follow suit by raising wages. The median pay for an Amazon employee past year was $28,446 worldwide, according to government filings, which includes full-time, part-time and temporary workers.

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