Amazon raising minimum wage to $15 for all US employees

Amazon.com Inc said on Tuesday it is raising its minimum wage to $15 per hour for all USA employees including full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees, starting 1 Novenber.

Amazon said 17,000 British employees would benefit from the rises, as well as 250,000 USA workers.

Amazon, which just became the second company to have a $1 trillion market cap, said it plans to push the federal government to increase the minimum wage. Mr Bezos said he encouraged the company's competitors to increase their own minimum wages.

"We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead", said CEO Jeff Bezos.

The retail giant has faced criticism for not paying its workers enough, especially in light of Bezos' huge wealth: he's now considered the richest person in the world with a net worth of about $165 billion.




Jeff Bezos, Amazon chief executive, said he was "excited" to announce the changes, which he said would impact more than 37,000 employees across the United Kingdom, "resulting in higher pay for them and their families". By way of comparison, Walmart's minimum wage is $11 an hour and Target is aiming to achieve $15 an hour by 2020.

Amazon's new pay rate includes workers who are hired through temp agencies and subsidiaries in the U.S. The company has more than 575,000 employees worldwide. Many business groups and conservative argue $15 an hour is too high, especially in lower cost-of-living places outside urban centers.

Workers have been protesting against fast food chains like McDonald's Corp and demanding wage increases since 2012 but conditions at Amazon's warehouses, distribution centers and for its couriers have been drawing media attention and criticism for some time. "The current rate of $7.25 was set almost a decade ago", Jay Carney, senior vice president of Amazon global corporate affairs, said in a statement. The median pay for an Amazon employee previous year was $28,446, according to government filings, which includes full-time, part-time and temporary workers.

Amazon made the announcement on a company blog this morning.

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