Amazon Raises Wages For UK and US Employees
By Sofy Robertson
Following widespread criticism over employee wages, Amazon has raised its minimum wage for British and American workers.
Amazon has faced intense criticism over recent years over pay, working conditions and the corporation’s tax affairs. The company have now reportedly listened to their critics and taken heed. From November 1st, British employees will be paid £9.50 an hour and American employees $15 an hour. Jeff Bezos, founder of the company and coincidentally the richest man in modern history, said:
“We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead. We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.” (Guardian)
Protests took place over the Summer across Europe with employees demanding higher pay. Although this is a step in the right direction for their employees, Amazon have made no plans to increase wages anywhere other than the US and UK.
With Amazon UK employees seeing a 28% pay rise, markedly higher than London’s 18%, there is hope that this giant company’s giant pay move may have a positive impact on other companies.
Union leaders have praised Amazon’s move, but have made it clear that Amazon still have a long way to go to improve their employment practices. They pointed out that a US worker on the $15 minimum would still need to work for at least 133 hours to buy just one share in the $1 tn company. (Guardian)
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn praised trade union pressure for prompting the pay rise and said:
“The fight goes on to improve working conditions and get this company to pay its fair share of taxes.”