Amazon hikes pay for United States and UK workers following criticism

Amazon hikes pay for United States and UK workers following criticism

Amazon is raising its minimum wage for all employees to $15, a bump that could have implications throughout the U.S. workforce.

The increase means it will now pay workers significantly more than the legal minimum wage, which stands at £7.83 in the United Kingdom and $7.25 in the US. The rise for London workers will be 28%.

"We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead", said Amazon chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos.

The change takes effect November 1 and applies to full-time, part-time and temporary workers. Last month it became the second publicly traded company to be worth $1 trillion, hot on the heels of Apple. The raise, effective at the start of next month, will cover 250,000 workers and 100,000 seasonal employees, reports the Wall Street Journal. And in January Walmart raised its starting wages to $11 per hour.

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.

"The current rate of $7.25 was set almost a decade ago", said Jay Carney, senior vice president of Amazon Global Corporate Affairs, in the statement.

The pay hike announced by Amazon Tuesday arrives right as retailers head into their most crucial season ahead of the holidays. With a healthy US economy, Americans looking for work have an increasing number of job options, so Amazon has to find ways to entice people to join its company.

"If Amazon is so proud of the way it treats its workers, it should make public the number of people it hires through temporary staffing agencies like Integrity Staffing Solutions and make public the hourly rate and benefits those workers earn", Sanders said in a statement in late August.

Workers have been protesting against fast food chains like McDonald's Corp and demanding wage increases since 2012.

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