Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Amazon Ups Minimum Wage to $15 for All Employees Starting Nov 1

Amazon CEO Jeffrey P. Bezos Amazon CEO Jeffrey P. Bezos
Nellie Chapman | 07 October, 2018, 03:01

In 2015, McDonald's said it would pay employees $1 a hour more than the minimum wage set by local law.

Amazon will raise its pay to $15 an hour for all USA employees effective November 1.

Amazon India pays its workers 25% more than the minimum wage in Bengaluru, and about 60% higher than the minimum wages in cities such as Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad, according to data from staffing agencies Xpheno and TeamLease. Amazon plans to add 100,000, many of them at the higher $15 wage, which takes effect November 1.

Amazon's announcement that it would raise its hourly minimum wage to $15 has been seen as a victory for workers. In September, Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced the Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies (BEZOS) Act. "The larger ecommerce companies that are fighting it out for talent in the same territories are compelled to pay wages in line with the market". "The current rate of $7.25 was set almost a decade ago", he said. "We intend to advocate for a minimum wage increase that will have a profound impact on the lives of tens of millions of people and families across this country".

"In that way, Amazon could be "weaponizing" policy, according to economist Michael Farren of the right-leaning think tank The Mercatus Center, which is generally against government regulation".

Workers in stores already tend to make less than workers in distribution warehouses on average. That perk could be pretty valuable for workers, especially since Amazon's stock price more than doubled over the past year.

The bonuses paid workers extra based on their attendance and warehouse productivity, while its restricted stock unit program gave shares to workers if they stayed with Amazon for a certain amount of years. This change will Benefit the 37,000 current and seasonal workers, according to data from the U.S. company.

Plus, a new federal minimum wage would force Walmart to direct resources away from developing new innovations to compete against Amazon, Farren argued.

Amazon said it reviews compensation annually to ensure it is competitive.

Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, also said Tuesday that it will lobby to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour, though it did not say what figure it would push for.

"Amazon's business model is premised on constant innovation", Farren said. Supporters say a higher minimum wage is a remedy for widening inequality and will boost consumer spending, while opponents counter that it could reduce opportunities for employment, particularly for teenagers and others looking for entry level or low-skilled jobs. "That's one of the reasons why they're so scary to other industries".