Amazon raises minimum wage for US workers

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Amazon has announced that it will raise the minimum wage for all of its US workers to $15 an hour starting next month.

The policy will cover seasonal and temporary employees as well as those employed at Amazon subsidiaries such as Whole Foods. According to Amazon, the new policy will cover 250,000 regular employees and 100,000 seasonal employees.

The decision to raise the minimum wage of US workers comes at a time when the firm is facing increased scrutiny over how its workers are treated and paid. At the same time, a group of Whole Foods workers has been pushing to unionise with demands for a $15 minimum wage.

Amazon's Founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos explained why the company had decided to raise the minimum wage of its employees in a press release announcing the news, saying:

“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.” 

The company's existing benefits will not change though the e-commerce giant will phase out its RSU stock grant program for hourly fulfilment and customer service employees and replace it with a direct stock purchase plan.

It still remains to be seen if Amazon's decision to raise minimum wage will satisfy its critics but the move is certainly a step in the right direction for the company's growing workforce.

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