Amazon raises minimum wage to $15 for all US workers

Workers sort arriving products at an Amazon Fulfilment Center in Tracy

Inc. on Tuesday said it was raising the minimum wage it pays all USA workers to $15 an hour, a move that comes as the company faced increased criticism about pay and benefits for its warehouse workers.

Amazon said in a press release Tuesday that more than 250,000 of its half a million workers would benefit from the wage increase, which would take effect in November. "Mr. Bezos and Amazon are now leading the way, but there is absolutely now no reason why other profitable corporations like Walmart, like the fast food industry, like retail in general and other employers - no reason why they also should not be paying their employees at least 15 dollars an hour". The change applies to all "full-time, part-time, temporary (including those hired by agencies), and seasonal employees" who are based in the US.

All hourly US employees in operations and customer service jobs, including those who made more than $15 an hour, would receive a pay bump in November, a spokeswoman said.

Amazon is also increasing wages in some areas outside the U.S. The company announced that the minimum wage will be 10.50 pounds an hour in London and 9.50 pounds in other parts of the UK.

The online retailer made the announcement Tuesday.

Amazon has recently been targeted over its pay by Senator Bernie Sanders, who last month introduced a less-than-subtly-named piece of legislation called the Stop Bad Employers by Zering Out Subsidies-"Stop BEZOS"-Act".

Most workers at Amazon's United Kingdom warehouses now receive £8 an hour, dependent on their location. "The current rate of $7.25 was set almost a decade ago", said a statement from Jay Carney, Senior Vice President of Amazon Global Corporate Affairs.

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Amazon's move will cost it $1 billion or less annually and the recent $20 price increase for Prime memberships would generate enough to offset the wage hike, Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said.

Visit HERE to find out more about the new Amazon $15 wage.

Continue reading for more reactions to Amazon's new minimum wage.

Amazon wants people to know it supports higher wages for workers at other companies too.

The $15 per hour wage will include all types of employee: full-time, part-time, seasonal and temporary.

It seems Amazon really does care what people think about the company. The proposed law says companies that don't pay a living wage should have to reimburse the tax authorities for the federal benefits paid out to their low-wage workers.

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