Amazon’s $15 an hour a win? Not so, some veteran workers say

David Foster  Yahoo FinanceMore

David Foster Yahoo FinanceMore

"We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead", Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a press release.

Wall Street Journal editorial page writer Jillian Melchior and former investment banker Carol Roth on how Amazon will raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour for USA employees. According to a survey of job postings, starting pay for such workers can be as low as $10 an hour or as high as $14.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) called on Amazon on Thursday to ensure that all of its hourly workers will receive a boost in compensation after the company drew criticism for slashing stock options and incentive-based pay even as it hiked its minimum wage to $15 per hour.

According to Galanti, Costco workers make an average of roughly $US22.50 per hour, with employees who have been at the retailer for years making into the mid-$US40 to $US50 range. For example, a current job posting for a full-time warehouse worker in Omaha, Neb., starts at $12.25 an hour, while a similar job in Madison, Wis., starts at $11. A nationwide minimum wage of $15 an hour would require all of the company's retail competitors to pay their store workers at least that amount. The firm has been hit with negative reports from warehouse employees in recent months, including claims from some staff that they have resorted to urinating in bottles because work demands are so heavy. In addition, around 100,000 additional temporary workers, who will be contracted during the holidays, will also benefit from this increase in wages.

Instead, Amazon will offer a direct stock purchase plan, which usually allows an investor to purchase stock without a broker.

It remains to be seen whether Amazon's decision to do this generous act by raising the minimum wage will satisfy its critics, but surely this move is a step in the right direction for the company's workforce, which would undoubtedly be jealous of it all employees worldwide.

Moscato noted that smaller companies typically spend more on labor than does Amazon, which uses more automation.

Many Amazon workers responded to Sanders' tweet mentioning that the pay increase will actually come with more cuts than a raise. "That's one of the reasons why they're so scary to other industries".

The $15 minimum wage is more than twice the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

Experts have projected retail rivals, like Target and Walmart, which now pay minimum wage rates of $11, to increase wages faster than planned.

Workers across the country have pushed for a $15 minimum wage, most notably as part of the movement known as Fight for $15.

"We've already seen just how much pressure there is — I think this is only going to increase it", said Judy Conti, director of government affairs at the National Employment Law Project.

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