Amazon to Raise Minimum Hourly Wage to $15 for All U.S. Workers
Amazon.com said it would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for all of its United States workers. The retail giant said the pay increase would include part-time workers and those hired through temporary agencies. Amazon said it would also lobby Washington to raise the federal minimum wage. The new wages will apply to more than 250,000 Amazon employees, including those at Whole Foods, as well as the more than 100,000 seasonal employees it will hire for the holiday season. The pay raise goes into effect on Nov. 1. Amazon has come under increased scrutiny for the wages and conditions of its work force, particularly at the fulfillment centers where it packages and sorts orders, and with the contract drivers who make last-mile deliveries.
Total Retail's Take: It's nice to see the rank-and-file in Amazon's workforce being recognized for their role in the organization's continued success. In addition to increasing political pressure to increase the wages of its workers — Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has been particularly critical of Amazon's compensation practices — Amazon, like many other retailers in search of help in preparation for the holiday shopping season, is challenged by a tight labor market. A third impetus for Amazon to increase the wages of its workers is that its primary competitors — Walmart, Target — have already taken that step. As retailers look to attract and retain talent, particularly in time for the busy holiday season, offering competitive wages and benefits will be critical. Amazon took a step in that direction today.