Amazon hikes pay for warehouse and delivery workers

A worker sorts packages at the departure dock at Amazon’s fulfillment center in Eastvale, Calif., on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021.

Watchara Phomicinda | MediaNews Group | The Riverside Press-Enterprise via Getty Images

Amazon is raising hourly wages for its warehouse and delivery workers, the company announced Wednesday.

Starting in October, Amazon’s average starting pay for front-line employees in the US will rise to more than $19 an hour from $18 an hour, the company said.

Warehouse and delivery workers will earn between $16 and $26 an hour depending on their position, Amazon added. Amazon’s minimum wage for US employees remains $15 an hour.

Amazon will spend roughly $1 billion on pay raises over the next year as it seeks to attract and retain employees in a historically tight labor market. It is also preparing to enter the so-called “peak” season, the particularly busy shopping period tied to the holidays.

Tensions have been growing between Amazon and its frontline workforce, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Employees have demanded wage increases, more paid time off and adjustments to productivity expectations.

Workers at several Amazon facilities have taken steps to organize, and earlier this year workers at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island, New York, successfully voted to form the first union in North America. American of the company. Amazon faces another union election at a site near Albany, New York, next month.

The company said earlier this month that it planned to increase wages and benefits for drivers employed by members of its contracted delivery network, which handles a growing share of its last-mile deliveries to customers’ doors. .

Along with the pay increase, Amazon said it is also expanding a payday advance program for its employees that allows them to access up to 70% of eligible pay earned whenever they want and with no fees , not just on a schedule, such as fortnightly.

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