Amazon raising minimum wage for U.S. workers to $15 per hour

Effective Nov. 1, the USA wage increase to $15 an hour applies to more than 250,000 current employees along with 100,000 more seasonal workers who will be hired during the holidays, Amazon said Tuesday in a statement.

The company said the wage will benefit more than 250,000 of the company's employees, and another 100,000 seasonal employees.

Amazon has also thrown down a gauntlet to its competitors, challenging it to match its wages, and has said it will push to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour. Walmart announced back in January that it plans to raise its minimum wage to $11 per hour. Amazon's move will kickoff a wage war at a time when the retail industry is grappling with higher tariffs and the unemployment rate is at historic lows.

"We will be working to gain congressional support for an increase in the federal minimum wage". Many business groups and conservative argue $15 an hour is too high, especially in lower cost-of-living places outside urban centers.

The federal minimum wage for the now $7.25, though most states offer higher wages. The company is led by Jeff Bezos, who is the world's richest man with a net worth of $150 billion, according to Forbes.

Target announced in September that it would raise its minimum wage to $11 an hour and $15 by 2020. The median pay for an Amazon employee a year ago was $28,446 worldwide, according to government filings, which includes full-time, part-time and temporary workers.

On Tuesday, fast food workers in MI are going to kick off a series of protests in the Midwest and elsewhere around the country in support of unions and a $15 minimum age.

Amazon also raised its minimum wage in Britain to 10.50 pounds ($13.59) an hour for all employees in the London area and 9.50 pounds an hour for staff in all other parts of the country, effective from November 1. "We intend to advocate for a minimum wage increase that will have a profound impact on the lives of tens of millions of people and families across this country".

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