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Amazon Pay Raise to $15/Hour Will Benefit 350,000 Employees

Amazon's founder Steve Jobs sitting in a chair glancing sideways. Bezos announced an Amazon pay raise to $15/hour
After intense criticism of Amazon's treatment of employees, Jeff Bezos and Amazon announced they would raise wages to $15/hour. (Image via Flickr Steve Jurvetson)

After intense scrutiny over Amazon pay rates and worker treatment, is Amazon’s new minimum wage hike a PR move or a sign of a company cultural shift?

Effective next month, all Amazon employees in the United States will earn no less than $15 an hour, the company announced on Tuesday. Full-time staff, part-time staff and temporary staff totaling more than 250,000 employees will benefit from the Amazon pay increase. Another 100,000 seasonal employees will also benefit from the raise.

“We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement. “We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.”

Some employees already earn $15 per hour, they will also reportedly see a wage increase.

CEO Jeff Bezos had been under intense criticism for the company’s low wages and pay disparity across the U.S. and beyond. Amazon pay rates and treatment of workers were seen as severe and in stark contrast to the wealth of Amazon’s founder. The average Amazon worker earned below $28,500 in 2017. Bezos, on the other hand, is the richest man in the world and worth an estimated $168 billion.

Senator Bernie Sanders in September sponsored a bill which aims to tax corporations for every dollar of benefits their employees receive in government assistance like food stamps and healthcare benefits. The legislation is known as the Bezos Act.

Senator Sanders applauded the Amazon pay increase.

“Today I want to give credit where credit is due,” Sanders said. “What Mr. Bezos has done today is not only enormously important for Amazon’s hundreds of thousands of employees, it could well be, and I think it will be, a shot heard around the world.”

Will the Amazon pay raise kick off a push for raising the federal minimum wage?

Sanders joined Amazon to encourage other major retailers to raise minimum wages for their workers. Amazon also promised to lobby the U.S. government to increase the federal minimum wage.

“We will be working to gain Congressional support for an increase in the federal minimum wage. The current rate of $7.25 was set nearly a decade ago,” said Jay Carney, Senior Vice President of Amazon Global Corporate Affairs. “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.”

Amazon competitors Target and Walmart have also promised to look into raising their employees’ minimum wages. Walmart said it will raise wages to $11 in January and Target said it will raise it to $15 by 2020.

The wage increase is not only happening in the U.S., it will also be coming up in the UK. Amazon workers in London will have their minimum wage raised to £10.50 ($13.61) and those in other parts of the country upped to £9.50 ($12.31).

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30 Comments

  1. Alyson Michie October 3, 2018

    It’s about fucking time Bezos did something with his enormous wealth…. he can’t take it with him

    Reply
    1. Gary J. Weber October 3, 2018

      Alyson Michie Those employees can thank our Presidents’ economic policies and 45% rise in Amazon’s stocks since Trump’s election.

    2. Alyson Michie October 3, 2018

      Gary J. Weber sorry I don’t buy your repug analysis.

    3. Julie Stone October 3, 2018

      Alyson Michie i dont buy that either.

    4. Dan Fryling October 3, 2018

      Alyson Michie, Democrats have provided this country with nothing but turmoil, you had better find a brain so you can actually think for yourself

  2. Barbara Dean October 3, 2018

    Thanks for sharing this post with us

    Reply
  3. Tim Dagley October 3, 2018

    Perhaps new NAFTA agreement was a piece to this wage puzzle? Anyone want to chime in on this.

    Reply
    1. Citizen Truth October 3, 2018

      want to write about it? We will publish it if you do!

  4. Lorraine Davis October 3, 2018

    Only because he was forced.

    Reply
  5. Julie Stone October 3, 2018

    Bezos about time you pay your employees well, they are the backs you made your money off of. It shouldn’t of had to come to the pressure of complaints.

    Reply
  6. Stephen Krieg October 3, 2018

    Hopefully this is not the end of showing AMAZON ATROCITIES.

    Reply
  7. Paula S Baker October 3, 2018

    Thank you, Jeff Bezos!

    Reply
  8. Raymond Lowey October 3, 2018

    read the fine print…but no more bonuses or benefits

    Reply
  9. Don Fisher October 4, 2018

    Did I not just read that he instituted a revenge policy? He’s cancelled monthly quota bonuses and stopped stock options to employees?

    Obviously he is a take no prisoners style business man.

    Reply
  10. Linda Farmer Ames October 4, 2018

    He can well afford to.

    Reply
  11. Victoria Helton October 4, 2018

    So new employees will be hired at 15 . And my friend whose been there for 8 years only makes 16 . They also cut bonuses and they used to give each employee stock. All gone now. Grrrr.

    Reply
  12. Wade October 4, 2018

    Amazon employees will also get a free weekly pack of adult diapers!

    Reply
  13. Katrina Tina Herbus Manko October 9, 2018

    I been working my job 26 years and just now making 15 bucks an hour and kids want that please I a widow paid of my house took care of my two kids on that .

    Reply
    1. Mark Garlitz October 9, 2018

      Who’s fault is it you now only make 15 an hour? Why would you not be glad people make a decent wage?

  14. Mateo Marcial October 9, 2018

    Has anyone bothered to ask the employees that were in favor of incentive bonuses and stock options how they feel now that those are gone and the shitty workers make just as much as the ones that are motivated and driven to succeed?

    Reply
  15. Jeanne Macdonald October 9, 2018

    Gives with one hand, takes away with the other.

    Reply
  16. Raymond Lowey October 9, 2018

    Press Release reprint w no mention of lost bonuses/stock. Noblesse Oblivious.

    Reply
  17. David Howes October 9, 2018

    They have too give up some benefit to get it.

    Reply
  18. Mary Urech Stallings October 9, 2018

    Except they cut out bonuses…..

    Reply
  19. Josh Schwien October 9, 2018

    I think you forgot to mention that their employees benefits will be cut in order to do this. Technically they will lose money

    Reply
  20. Gina Bolin October 9, 2018

    Corporate need is unbelievable!!!!

    Reply
  21. Jason Self October 9, 2018

    Lmmfao

    Reply
  22. John Cacho October 9, 2018

    Not unless 350,000 people happen to be Jeff bezos. #lies #propaganda

    Reply
  23. William Smith October 9, 2018

    Prices will go up, but that’s cool.

    Reply

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