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Amazon raises minimum wage for US & UK employees in victory for workers pushing for better pay

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Amazon said on 2 October that it would increase its minimum wage from $11 to $15 (£11.57) which will be an increase for more than 350,000 workers.  It is also increasing its minimum wage in the UK from £8 to £10.50 an hour in London and £9.50 across the rest of the country in a move that will benefit 40,000 staff.  The new rate in the UK is higher than the level recommended by the Living Wage Foundation of £8.75, or £10.20 in London. The company said the changes would apply for all workers, including those on full-time and part-time contracts, as well as seasonal staff and temporary workers hired by recruitment agencies.

The move comes after intense pressure over the last year regarding the firm's employment practices particularly in warehouses which have been the subject of long-running protests about insecure work and poor conditions.  Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO said “We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead".  Amazon also said it would also lobby the US government to increase the federal minimum wage.

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3 October 2018

Amazon responds to union pressure with wage increase, but still denies workers’ rights

Author: Intl. Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)

Trillion-dollar corporate behemoth Amazon’s announcement that it will increase wages of its lowest paid workers shows that pressure from national and international unions is having an impact. However, the company shows no sign yet of ending its systematic global anti-union strategy. Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said: “Amazon is a top-predator in the corporate greed stakes, and treats the men and women who work for it with no respect. From Jeff Bezos at the top, down to middle management, the company uses every trick in the book to stop its workers organising into unions to improve working conditions and bargain collectively for decent conditions and pay that reflects the full value of the work they do. Amazon has an appalling record on workers’ health and safety, and imposes work practices on them that would have been unacceptable 100 years ago, let alone today. Trade unions will keep up the pressure on this company until it changes its feudal corporate culture.”While Amazon has announced wage increases for UK and US workers, unions are calling for increases for its entire global workforce.

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Article
2 October 2018

Amazon lifts minimum wage for US and UK workers

Author: Financial Times

Amazon...it is increasing the minimum wage paid to US and UK workers, in the latest move by a large retailer to lift the salaries of its employees. The ecommerce group said the new wage floor of $15 in the US, £9.50 in the UK and £10.50 in London would go into effect next month...The company’s move follows widespread strikes of Amazon workers in Spain and Germany earlier this year ahead of a critical discounting period. Warehouses have been the subject of long-running protests about insecure work and poor conditions, particularly in Europe where labour laws are tougher than in the US. Earlier this year, Walmart, the world’s biggest bricks-and-mortar retailer, increased its minimum wage in the US from $9 to $11...Swift growth in the US economy and a significant tightening in the labour market in recent months has left companies competing more aggressively to hire workers...Amazon said on Tuesday that it would also lobby the US government to increase the federal minimum. “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,” said Jay Carney, senior vice-president of Amazon global corporate affairs.

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Article
2 October 2018

Amazon raises minimum wage for US and UK employees

Author: Guardian

Amazon has raised its minimum wage for British and American workers, in a major milestone for campaigners pushing for pay increases to tackle rising levels of poverty and inequality. The company, which has become almost a byword for low-paid and low-quality work in recent years, said it would increase the minimum wage to $15 (£11.57) an hour in the US for more than 350,000 workers, while almost 40,000 staff in Britain will get an increase to £10.50 an hour in London and £9.50 across the rest of the country. Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder of the e-commerce company, said: “We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead..Lifting the wage for its workers, designed to tackle the firm’s critics head on, means Amazon UK will pay more than the current national minimum wage of £7.83 for workers over the age of 25. The new rate is also higher than the level recommended by the Living Wage Foundation of £8.75, or £10.20 in London. The current minimum wage for UK Amazon workers is £8 an hour, meaning they will get a minimum increase in pay of 18%. The rise for London workers will be 28%. The current lowest wage paid to US workers is $11 an hour, meaning the minimum rate will rise by 36%.

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Article
2 October 2018

Amazon to Raise Minimum Hourly Wage for All U.S. Workers to $15

Author: New York Times

The online giant on Tuesday said it would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for all of its United States workers. It said the pay increase would include part-time workers and those hired through temporary agencies. The company said it would also lobby Washington to raise the federal minimum wage... 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. Some workers at the grocery chain Whole Foods, which Amazon bought last year, have recently made a push to organize a union. The wage increase comes as Amazon’s fortunes...have ballooned. Amazon’s market capitalization passed $1 trillion last month...

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