Amazon to Increase Wages for Over 500,000 Employees
Amazon.com announced Wednesday that it will give more than 500,000 workers a raise. The retailer will hike pay by between 50 cents and $3 an hour for over half a million of its U.S. operations employees, Darcie Henry, vice president of global human resources for Amazon, said in a company blog post. Amazon will spend more than $1 billion on incremental pay for these workers, Henry said. The pay raises will take effect in mid-May through early June of this year, Henry said. Amazon said it moved up annual pay review for positions across its customer fulfillment, delivery, package sorting, and specialty fulfillment teams from fall to spring.
Total Retail's Take: Following what has been a record year for Amazon, driven by quarantined consumers turning online to the leader in the e-commerce industry for their shopping needs, the company is taking the appropriate step of rewarding its employees, many front-line workers who continued to perform their duties throughout the pandemic. In addition to rewarding its existing staff, these pay raises will also raise Amazon's status as an attractive employer during a time when so many are returning to the workforce.
As the country's second largest private employer (Walmart is No. 1), Amazon is going to be scrutinized with regards to its employee compensation. As such, the company has been outspoken in recent years on the matter. The company has endorsed the Raise the Wage Act, a bill backed by President Biden and top Democrats that would increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour from $7.25 an hour by 2025. Amazon also touted its starting pay of $15 an hour as part of its argument against unionization amid a high-stakes election at one of its warehouses in Alabama earlier this month. With no signs of e-commerce growth slowing, Amazon will need more, and happy, employees to keep up with demand.
Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.