1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

Amazon raises minimum wage to $15 for all including temporary and seasonal employees

By Greg S · 31 replies
Oct 2, 2018
Post New Reply
  1. Starting on November 1, all employees of Amazon including those working under temporary staffing agencies will be paid at least $15 per hour. The pay raise also applies to Whole Foods employees and all other subsidiaries. According to Amazon, more than 250,000 employees including over 100,000 seasonal workers will benefit from the increased pay.

    Amazon has been under scrutiny by critics for less than ideal working conditions and has had its share of horror stories written by former employees. Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos says, "We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us."

    In addition to raising the bottom end of its pay scale, Amazon's public policy team will start to lobby for increasing the federal minimum wage. "We will be working to gain Congressional support for an increase in the federal minimum wage," declared Jay Carney, Senior Vice President of Amazon Global Corporate Affairs.

    Employees working in Operations and Customer Service currently make around $15 an hour already. Fortunately, Amazon is also promising these employees a pay raise to show that they are still valued.

    Aside from the wage hike, Amazon still offers a variety of other benefits that are rarely found at minimum wage jobs. Comprehensive healthcare with medical, dental, and vision coverage as well as compensation for life and disability insurance are standard. Planning for retirement is made a little easier with 401k matching. Parents, both mothers and fathers, can receive up to 20 weeks of paid leave.

    One key change however, is Amazon's restricted stock unit program. Instead of offering stock grants that take a few years to vest, employees will be given direct purchase opportunities. Low wage employees have been asking for more cash to be immediately available instead of having to wait years to make use of their full compensation.

    Even though Amazon would prefer to keep employee retention as high as possible, a Career Choice program pays for 95 percent of tuition in high-demand fields that Amazon needs more skilled employees in. By doing so, Amazon fully recognizes that some personnel may jump ship and take their new skills with them but continues to run the program to support its employees and fill open positions.

    Permalink to story.

  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,524   +3,085

    $15 an hour, must be enough to buy the latest iPhone, and then live in the woods, although re-charging it would be challenging.
  3. fps4ever

    fps4ever TS Evangelist Posts: 317   +313

    I was going to say something "smart alec" like but I see no negativity in this. Especially for how many people hate on Amazon. This is a good thing. It could be worse, we could be talking about a "living wage".
    dms96960 likes this.
  4. Very nice to see some social corporate responsibility like there used to be. Maybe the wage isn't the greatest, but those are some amazing benefits.
    dms96960 likes this.
  5. R00sT3R

    R00sT3R TS Guru Posts: 166   +354

    Try working in an Amazon warehouse for a month and you'll understand why...assuming you could stick it that long.
  6. fps4ever

    fps4ever TS Evangelist Posts: 317   +313

    Not arguing that but by all means just quote part of my post then take it out of context of the whole thing to make your point..
  7. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,570   +1,787

    This right here is where the negativity comes in:

    " "We will be working to gain Congressional support for an increase in the federal minimum wage," declared Jay Carney, Senior Vice President of Amazon Global Corporate Affairs."

    See, this is amazons play. They increase wages to $15,everybody says its great. Then amazon pushes for a federal minimum wage of $15. This leads to rampant inflation, and $15/hr will become the new $7/hr, because the cost of everything will skyrocket. Just look anywhere else this has been done. All that money has to come from SOMEWHERE.

    Everyone thinks this $15/hr minimum wage is great, without realizing that, hey, if the minimum wage is $15/hr, that means we can now charge $8 for a gallon of milk, and $9 for a gallon of gas. Bananas? Well, those have gone from $.39 a pound to $1.20. Cars? Well they start at $35000 instead of $20000 now. All that extra money, and your buying power would be the exact same as it is now, because everybody is going to have to increase wages to compete, and the system will even itself out with significantly higher prices to cover the costs.

    So amazon will virtue signal, everybody thinks they're great, only for them to wind up once again paying minimum wage to most of their employees anyway, just with bigger numbers attached. If amazon truly cared about their workers, they would have done this years ago, and they wouldnt be pushing for the minimum wage to go to $15 alongside it. This is, plain and simple, virtue signalling by a massive corporate entity aware their PR has been falling flat lately.
    dms96960, Danny101, p51d007 and 3 others like this.
  8. fps4ever

    fps4ever TS Evangelist Posts: 317   +313

    That's a pretty negative outlook on things. Are you telling me that a minimum wage that hasn't kept up with inflation is a good thing, we should keep it low so people can't buy things? You can't have it both ways. Like I said it could be worse, as in a "living wage" push.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
    treetops likes this.
  9. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,160   +1,413

    No - he's saying 'minimum wage' will never provide people will the affluence they want. The problem is the idea that minimum wage is a place it's OK to be. Minimum wage should be a ladder, not a bed. It should be what high schoolers make in their first job for a short period of time. It's not where you want to live for exactly the reasons he explained.

    Regardless of the economics of it - Amazon is a business (meaning they make decisions for their own best interest and not for social PR) and I know that here in Southeast Wisconsin they have a distribution center that they can't find enough employees for. And we have Foxconn coming to employ thousands more - and Amazon wants to open ANOTHER center in the same general area.

    They are doing this for a number of reasons - one of which is a struggle to hire people. With the economy doing great, taxes lower and unemployment at record lows there's a competition for workers that we've never seen in our lifetimes. It'll only get worse as the number of people retiring outpaces young folks entering the workforce. Eventually our leaders will clue in and hopefully allow more immigration of skilled workers.

    Regardless- I'm glad they're raising their wages. The effects @Theinsanegamer talked about are true, but it'll take a while for them to kick in. In the meantime we can enjoy the booming economy and those people working for Amazon will get a nice raise far enough ahead of Christmas to make it matter for a lot of families.
    dms96960, p51d007 and Theinsanegamer like this.
  10. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,160   +1,413

    One downside is that the people currently working there may get displaced by others who are more qualified. Right now a college grad looking for a part-time job might not want to work at an Amazon warehouse for $9/hr. But if they start paying $15, now that college grad will go apply and easily be hired over the person with little education who can't get a decent job that requires a decent resume.
    Adorerai likes this.
  11. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,570   +1,787

    Like mike said above, I am not opposed to keeping people from buying things. People shouldnt be building their lives on minimum wage in the first place. minimum wage is for high schoolers, or part time jobs for retirees. We should be focusing on making more middle class jobs instead, and creating enough of them that adults with kids dont need to work at McD's flipping burgers.

    When you raise the baseline so dramatically, you shock the rest of the system, which will respond in kind. Amazon paying their workers $15 instead of $7 is great. Amazon pushing for everyone to pay $15 is not, because once you do that $15 becomes worthless as an hourly wage.

    If you want to see what that looks like, the west coast of the US has many examples, where the average wage is super high (many parts of California) but a one bedroom apartment costs $3500 a month, and houses START at one million dollars, for many miles in any direction. Silicon valley, and the areas surrounding it, have become unlivable due to the high costs. Same with san francisco. Seattle has been trying to incrementally push minimum wage to $15, with disastrous results for low income workers:

    And that report doesnt cover thing like "the poor still cant afford to live in the city" or how middle class people are now being priced out by insane costs, or the anecdotal reports of businesses and restaurants having to move out of the city due to high labor costs. The hike in minimum wage hasnt improved these peoples lives, they just send more of that money in as rent and utilities and taxes and food.

    Again, amazon paying their employees more is a good thing, but virtue signalling it to push a ridiculous level of minimum wage thinking "we can all live decently off of that much money" is bad, and would screw over the little guys more then help them. I am all for providing better education opportunities and help finding work for people who want to put in the effort to improve their lives, but I'm not a fan of just throwing a ton of cash at the problem thinking that will fix it, because it never has before.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
    MilwaukeeMike, dms96960 and Danny101 like this.
  12. fps4ever

    fps4ever TS Evangelist Posts: 317   +313

    I was not arguing that it should be high enough to live on either. Keeping minimum wage current with inflation balances things out more, including the economy. Stifling it for years does not. And contrary to popular belief people on minimum wage purchase a huge amount of consumer goods. We need skilled legal immigration workers, not the thousands of illegals flooding in willing to work for pennies on the dollar.
    dms96960 likes this.
  13. BlackCatRokusho

    BlackCatRokusho TS Rookie

    As I see a bunch of people commenting about minimum wage, and whether it should be something you can sustain yourself off of everyone should be aware that minimum wage was established for that very reason after the great depression in the Fair Labors Standard Act in 1938.

    Its intent according to the Cornell Law School (I'm not sure if I can post outside links or not, but I got it from there) is as follows: "The purpose of the minimum wage was to stabilize the post-depression economy and protect the workers in the labor force. The minimum wage was designed to create a minimum standard of living to protect the health and well-being of employees."

    Currently in locations like the West Coast, minimum wage isn't enough to establish a minimum standard of living unless that standard is being barely able to keep a roof over your head.

    Minimum wage has been excessively stifled, and profit margins have grown drastically for corporations resulting in lack of wealth distribution. It feels that the only way to correct this is through a proper minimum wage correction based on the areas.

    Unfortunately this doesn't solve the problem of corporations wanting to regain the small bit of profits they lose, so they always try to force the price onto the consumer.

    If there was some proper competition with them, perhaps we wouldn't be in the situation we are currently?
  14. Reachable

    Reachable TS Evangelist Posts: 369   +183

    A significant increase in the minimum wage will increase buying power much more than it will increase prices. The argument that it produces rampant inflation is a false ploy that has always been used to propagandize against an increase.

    Unionization and an increase in the minimum wage have always worked to increase the level of general prosperity. This is a situation that simply has to be implemented, and then we see how it plays out, and then we act accordingly.

    This looks like a real victory for the humane and practical. Negative publicity for Amazon precipitated it, and now it becomes positive publicity, and it will pressure other, more than equally bad parties such as Walmart to follow suit, and then all affected will fiercely pressure for a change at the Federal level to even the playing field.
  15. Adorerai

    Adorerai TS Enthusiast Posts: 53   +23

    Well, if my $16 an hour "skilled" job is now worth the same as flipping burgers for $15, I'd consider that to be a paycut for everyone above $15. Companies will be spending more money on payroll, and that will be passed down to the consumer. Speeds up inflation.

    I doubt companies are going to increase your $16 an hour job at the same rate minimum wage is going up. Nor is a company just going to take the extra hit and not pass it along.
  16. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,004   +1,271

    Is anyone being FORCED to work in an Amazon warehouse? Didn't think so.
  17. fps4ever

    fps4ever TS Evangelist Posts: 317   +313

    Nobody said minimum wage has to be set at $15 an hour. It could be $10 or $12? And I hate to break it to you but your $16hr skilled job was has been surpassed many times already with higher paying menial labor unskilled jobs. If you think it's unfair get a different higher paying job. I guess its also not fair having to pay $0.25 more for your burger and fries!
  18. Adorerai

    Adorerai TS Enthusiast Posts: 53   +23

    Even if companies only increased the cost by just a fraction of the minimum wage rate, by the time the product or service reaches the consumer that fraction would have been applied several times along the supply chain.
  19. Adorerai

    Adorerai TS Enthusiast Posts: 53   +23

    Those numbers were used to keep things simple. You can replace it with whatever you want. The idea is the same.
  20. Adorerai

    Adorerai TS Enthusiast Posts: 53   +23

  21. fps4ever

    fps4ever TS Evangelist Posts: 317   +313

    That doesn't make your "idea" any more legitimate. Inflation is a lot more complicated than just raising minimum wages. There's a balance. Certain states have already raised minimum wages and the US economy hasn't imploded. Replace that with anything you want. Do you want to keep the status quo and have millions on welfare and food subsidies courtesy of higher taxes that you and I end up paying?
  22. Adorerai

    Adorerai TS Enthusiast Posts: 53   +23

    Oh, I was under the impression we were discussing a rate increase on the federal level? I agree that localized increases aren't going to have as far reaching of an affect as a federal rate increase.

    And money doesn't just materialize from no where. The wage increase has to come from somewhere. So increasing the rate doesn't actually keep more money in my pocket. I'm now paying my "taxes and subsidies for the poor" up front. In the end, we as a country are spending more for the same thing.
  23. PcePce

    PcePce TS Enthusiast Posts: 79   +25

    Forcing everyone to pay their employees an arbitrary amount as a minimum wage? What could possibly go wrong?
  24. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 817   +324

    Amazon wouldn't be doing this out of the kindness of their heart. V. S. all the way.
  25. dj2017

    dj2017 TS Maniac Posts: 160   +167

    $15 an hour. Lose that "1" and you have the minimal wage in Greece. In other countries things are much worst of course.

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...