Amazon raises the minimum wage for employees

Jonathan Weiss

"Amazon can afford to make all workers whole and should do that".

"We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead", founder and Chief Executive said in a statement.

"Amazon's policy change loses significance if it contracts out more work to low wage employers or independent contractors".

Studies conducted by the FT, for instance, now show that Amazon's minimum wage now exceeds that of major United Kingdom retailers Marks & Spencer, Morrison, Sainsbury's and Tesco.

Now the US federal minimum wage stands at $7.25 per hour. The company informed those employees Wednesday that it's eliminating both of those compensation categories to help pay for the raises, the people said.

This announcement was disclosed by Amazon this Tuesday and the announcement contained that stock awards program is going to be replaced with the least wages pattern because employees usually prefer immediate and predictable cash as compared with the monthly or annually stock awards.

"This is Amazon waking up and smelling the coffee". Amazon confirmed this message to CNBC by sending an email containing the message that company is now making itself free from the stock option rewards and other incentives to its workers and as an alternative it is increasing the wages of per hour workers to $15 per hour. Bernie Sanders' office, who had been critical of Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos for paying what he described as low wages but praised the company when it raised the hourly minimum wage. Amazon has always been criticized for its treatment of warehouse workers and delivery drivers in the past.

That has included several fatalities, including one in 2013 when a conveyor system crushed a temporary worker in a New Jersey warehouse, according to the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The company announced Tuesday that it will raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour for all U.S. employees.

Like several of the big USA tech firms, Amazon is also facing increased official scrutiny over how much tax it pays.

Amazon also raised its minimum wage in Britain to 10.50 pounds ($13.59) an hour for all employees in the London area and 9.50 pounds an hour for staff in all other parts of the country, effective from November 1.

Further controversy emerged following a comparison of Bezos' wage versus that of his lowest-paid staff, with some estimates calculating that Bezos earned the annual salary of his company's lowest earners every 11.5 seconds.

"We're excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us", he added.

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