Amazon declared that it will likely be increasing its minimum salary for all U.S. workers to $15 an hour, effective November 1.
The policy will cover workers at Amazon subsidiaries, including Whole Foods, and seasonal and temporary workers. Amazon says that overall, this can cover 250,000 workers, plus 100,000 seasonal workers.
This comes as Amazon is dealing with growing scrutiny over how its employees are treated and paid. Senator Bernie Sanders, as an instance, these days introduced legislation to end what he calls “corporate welfare” — and it’s pretty clear as to whom he had in mind, considering that bill was titled Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies (BEZOS).
In the meantime, a group of Whole Foods employees has been pushing to unionize, with demands that covered a $15 minimum salary.
“We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we need to lead,” stated Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. “We’re enthusiastic about this change and encourage our competitors and other employers to join hands with us.”
Amazon says its present benefits will not change, except that its RSU inventory supply program can be phased out for hourly fulfillment and customer service workers and changed with a direct stock purchase plan, supposedly because those employees “prefer the predictability and immediacy of cash to RSUs.”
Further, the firm additionally pledges its public policy team will lobby for a raise to the federal minimum wage from $7.25 — it doesn’t identify a particular salary that it’s targeting, however rather says, “We think $7.25 is too low. We might look to Congress to decide the parameters of a brand new, higher federal minimal salary.”
It remains to be seen whether Amazon’s critics are happy with those actions.