A worker sorts packages at the outbound dock at Amazon’s fulfillment center in Eastvale, California on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021.
Watchara Phomicinda | MediaNews Group | The Riverside Press-Enterprise via Getty Images
Amazon is raising hourly wages for its warehouse and delivery workers, the company announced Wednesday.
In early October, Amazon’s average starting pay for front-line workers in the U.S. will be increased to more than $19 an hour from $18 an hour, the company said.
Warehouse and delivery workers will earn between $16 and $26 an hour depending on their position, Amazon added. Amazon’s minimum wage for US employees remains at $15 an hour.
Amazon is spending an estimated $1 billion on pay raises next year as it seeks to attract and retain employees in a historically tight labor market. It is also preparing to enter the so-called “peak” season, the particularly busy holiday shopping period.
Tensions have been rising between Amazon and its frontline workforce, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Employees have called for wage increases, more paid time off and adjustments to performance expectations.
Workers at several Amazon facilities have taken steps to organize, and earlier this year workers at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island, New York, successfully voted to form the company’s first union in the US. Amazon faces new union elections at a site near Albany, N.Y., next month.
The company said earlier this month that it plans to raise pay and benefits for drivers employed by members of its contracted delivery network, which handles a growing share of last-mile deliveries to customers’ doorsteps.
Along with the pay increase, Amazon said it is also expanding an advance pay program for its employees that allows them to access 70 percent of their eligible earned compensation when they decide and without fees, rather than just on a schedule like on a bi-weekly basis.
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