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Amazon Raises Minimum Wage Ahead Of Peak Season

Amazon has sought to lift its public profile, by raising the minimum wage for US employees to US$15 an hour. The news seeks to remedy claims it’s overworking staff and imposing unfair working conditions.

Commentators claim the wage hike will also improve Amazon’s ability to hire seasonal workers during the peak holiday season.

The increase will take effect from November 1st, impacting around 250,000 employees (i.e. ~40% of its global workforce).

Around 100,000 seasonal employees will also benefit from the wage hike, plus 17,000 UK workers.

The e-commerce giant has also pledged to increase the pay of hourly workers currently on US$15/hour, however, has not stated by how much.

To offset the wage hike, Amazon is reportedly culling some stock compensation for hourly warehouse and customer service employees.

According to Robert W Baird & Co analysts, a US 50 cent raise per hour will result in a US$200 million posttax operating profit impact.

Some commentators claim goodwill gained by the wage hike will outweigh the financial impact.

The news comes as Amazon continues to record bumper growth and record-breaking earnings – e.g. its recent quarterly profit hit US$2.5 billion from US$53 billion in revenue.

In a published statement, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos affirms his company has listened to critics, and encourages competitors and other large conglomerates to follow suit.

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