Amazon says its public policy team will start pushing for an increase in the USA federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
The new minimum wage will benefit more than 250,000 employees in the US, as well as over 100,000 seasonal employees who will be hired at Amazon sites across the country this holiday, the company said in a statement. "We're excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us". The median pay for an Amazon employee past year was $28,446 worldwide, according to government filings, which includes full-time, part-time and temporary workers.
Amazon, with more than 575,000 employees globally, took it a step further Tuesday, saying that it would become an advocate for better pay everywhere.More news: High school football player dies after injury during game
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos walks onstage for the launch of the new Amazon Fire Phone, in Seattle, June 16, 2014. Amazon says it will also lobby to have the federal minimum wage increased from its current $7.25 per hour. By way of comparison, Walmart's minimum wage is $11 an hour and Target is aiming to achieve $15 an hour by 2020.
Sanders claims many Amazon workers need food stamps to feed their families, though Amazon has disputed his figures.
Amazon said it wants to convince lawmakers to boost the federal minimum wage.More news: Death toll from Indonesian quake , tsunami rises to 844
Amazon said it would increase its minimum wage for all full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees. "The current rate of $7.25 was set almost a decade ago", Senior Vice President of Amazon Global Corporate Affairs Jay Carney said in a statement.
Amazon has raised its minimum wage for British and American workers, in a major milestone for campaigners pushing for pay increases to tackle rising levels of poverty and inequality in both countries.
The company also said it would press for a change to the U.S. minimum wage level.More news: Valencia look to extend Manchester United's poor run