A worker sorts out parcels in the outbound dock at Amazon fulfillment center in Eastvale, California on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021.
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Beginning in October, Amazon’s average starting pay for front-line employees in the U.S. will be bumped up to more than $19 per hour from $18 per hour, the company said.
Warehouse and delivery workers will earn between $16 and $26 per hour depending on their position, Amazon added. Amazon’s minimum wage for employees in the U.S. remains $15 an hour.
Amazon is spending roughly $1 billion on the pay hikes over the next year as it looks to attract and retain employees in a historically tight labor market. It’s also preparing to enter what’s known as “peak” season, the especially busy shopping period tied to the holidays.
Tensions have been growing between Amazon and its front-line workforce, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. Employees have called for wage increases, more paid time off and adjustments to productivity expectations.
Workers at several Amazon facilities have taken steps to organize, and earlier this year, workers at Amazon’s warehouse in Staten Island, New York, successfully voted to form the company’s first U.S. union. Amazon faces another union election at a site near Albany, New York, next month.
The company said earlier this month it planned to raise pay and benefits for drivers employed by members of its contracted delivery network, which handles a growing share of its last-mile deliveries to customers doorsteps.
Alongside the pay increase, Amazon said it’s also expanding a payday advance program for its employees that allows them to access up to 70% of their eligible earned pay whenever they choose and without fees, not just on a schedule, such as a biweekly basis.