Amazon raising minimum wage to $15 per hour for US workers

Kathleen Frey loaded a cart with customer orders at an Amazon distribution warehouse in Fall River in 2017

John Tlumacki Globe Staff File Kathleen Frey loaded a cart with customer orders at an Amazon distribution warehouse in Fall River in 2017

We annualized this compensation for employees who did not work the entire year, except for employees designated as seasonal or temporary.

Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) congratulated Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Tuesday for announcing he would raise wages to $15 per hour for all Amazon employees.

Amazon said its public policy team will start pushing for an increase in the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

Last month, Amazon said that the average hourly wage for a full-time associate in its fulfillment centers was already more than $15 per hour.

President Donald Trump had promoted December's sweeping tax cuts by saying they would boost worker pay, and the White House has pointed to bonuses many employers have since offered as evidence of increased prosperity. If Amazon was contemplating minimum wage changes when Sanders made waves, there was no need for Amazon to push back so hard against him.

Beyond the company, Amazon says that its public policy team will start advocating for increasing the federal minimum wage, which is now set at $7.25.

Amazon is raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour for all USA employees.

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Despite its domination, Amazon shares one potential hurdle that is growing higher for nearly all employers big and small: a tightening labor market.

The company has also raised its minimum wage to £10.50 ($13.62) in London and £9.50 ($12.32) in the rest of England. "We're excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us", said Amazon and founder Jeff Bezos.

The company said it would increase its minimum wage for all full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees.

The big unanswered question is why Amazon is making this wage increase, and why now?

Around 16 Twitter accounts purporting to belong to staff in Amazon's warehouses began gaining attention in August after defending the company from criticism of its health and safety practices and worker conditions.

The pay hike announced by Amazon Tuesday arrives right as retailers head into their most crucial season ahead of the holidays. But the company says the employees have said "they prefer the predictability and immediacy of cash to RSUs".

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