$15 Minimum Wage at Amazon
The world's second largest retailer is instituting an immediate $15 minimum wage, could it be to stop an organizing drive
One of the largest and fastest growing companies in the world is increasing their minimum wage. This comes after workers began complaining about the low wages that were being paid by the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos.
On Monday, Amazon announced that they would be instituting a new pay scale on November 1st. The raises will go into effect for all Amazon employees, including those that work seasonal hours and those that are contracted by outside temp agencies to work in the fulfillment centers. The new minimum wage will be $15/hour, which is double the federal minimum wage. It is also higher than Walmart’s and Target’s although Target is on track to have a $15 minimum wage by 2020.
The move comes after an embarrassing report in the spring that found that many Amazon employees relied on government assistance to survive and that the median income was $28,446. Amazon has recently also come under fire for dangerous working conditions at their fulfillment centers, which are often run by outside contractors.
The raises also come at a tumultuous time for the internet giant. The Guardian released a story that since Amazon bought the grocery store Whole Foods, they have moved to automate many jobs to take away the skill and knowledge that many employees needed. Many employees think this is being done so that they can replace the knowledgeable and skilled employees with cheaper alternatives. The possibility of a union at Amazon/Whole Foods was so great that the company had begun subjecting their staff to anti-union training. UCOMM recently reported on some of the highlights or lowlights of the video.
While the company may have increased wages to prevent a union drive, the fact is simple, the Fight for $15 has been successful in pushing the world’s second-largest retailer to think more about their employees and raise wages to a level that they can live on and are doing it immediately. Now let’s see if Walmart will follow suit.