Amazon to Raise Wages for Over 500,000 Employees

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Amazon is looking to improve its image after weeks of friction with workers.

According to a statement made yesterday by Amazon vice president of people experience and technology, Darcie Henry, the super-retailer is looking to add tens of thousands of new jobs to a variety of their work sectors, including customer fulfillment, delivery drivers, package sorting, and more. However, as Amazon has spent the last several weeks embroiled in an internal feud with its employees over union organization, their reputation isn’t exactly conducive to enticing new hires. As such, after moving up its annual fall pay review, Amazon has made the decision to raise wages for over 500,000 of its employees.


“More than 500,000 people will see an increase between at least 50 cents and $3 an hour, which is an investment of over $1 billion in incremental pay for these employees,” Henry said in a statement posted to Amazon’s corporate blog. “This is on top of our already industry-leading starting wage of at least $15 an hour and the more than $2.5 billion that we invested last year in additional bonuses and incentives for front-line teams.”

During the recent vote at Amazon’s Bessemer, Alabama warehouse, union organizers lost their organizational election by a 2/3 margin. The organizers are currently contesting around 500 ballots on the grounds that Amazon made deliberate attempts to intimidate employees into voting against unionization. While Amazon successfully quashed this unionization effort, experts are certain this will not be the last time.

“There are many reasons for Amazon to be concerned about future unionization efforts—especially in areas of the country where an Amazon job doesn’t pay relatively as well as it might in Alabama,” Arindrajit Dube, an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, told CNN Business.

“An increasing tightness in the labor market means its $15 minimum wage is decreasingly effective at recruitment and retention of qualified workers, and a substantial raise can help with that,” Dube added.

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