Amazon.com Inc. announced a wage increase for hourly workers in the US that it says will bring the average starting wage for most front-line employees in warehousing and transportation to more than $19 an hour.
The company’s $15-an-hour minimum for all hourly workers in the U.S. remains unchanged. For jobs in Amazon’s transportation and customer fulfillment groups, starting pay will increase to $16 an hour, a spokesperson said in an email Wednesday.
The Seattle-based company said the increase represents nearly $1 billion in additional spending over the next year. Amazon is the second largest private employer in the US, behind Walmart Inc. Amazon employed more than 1.1 million people in the US at the end of 2021. The company’s total workforce was more than 1.5 million as of June 30. Most of these employees are hourly workers who package and ship items, or work at retail stores such as Whole Foods Market and Amazon Fresh.
The company is also expanding access to a program that allows employees to get paid more frequently than once or twice a month, according to a statement.
Amazon is facing employee activism and union mobilizations at some of its facilities, including a warehouse in the Albany, New York area, where a vote is planned for next month. The company is challenging an election last April in which more than 8,000 workers at a warehouse in Staten Island, New York, won the right to be represented by a union.
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