Amazon is boosting its average starting wage for frontline workers from $18 to $19 per hour, as the busy “peak” holiday season approaches.
Starting from October, all US warehouse and transportation workers would earn hourly pay between $16 and $26, based on their role and location.
The pay hike is intended to help attract more staffers in a tight labor market.
The minimum pay at the Seattle-based e-commerce company, which hired nearly 1.5 million employees as of the end of June, will remain $15 per hour.
The hike comes shortly after Amazon’s announcement that it will hold a Prime-Day-style Christmas shopping event in October.
It is the first time the e-commerce giant is conducting a huge sales drive twice in a year, after its Prime Day deals spree in July.
Target and Walmart has announced last week that they will have Holiday deals or gift returns in October.
Both are having big recruitment drives for Christmas staff.
It is intended to accommodate cash-strapped shoppers who are likely to purchase early and spread out their Christmas spending.
Amazon is also proposing the rise in response to a rising unionization push within its warehouses, fueled by workers’ protests over wages and working conditions.
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Following an organizing push coordinated by the Amazon Labor Union, Amazon warehouse workers in upstate New York will vote in a union election next month.
In April, a Staten Island warehouse successfully won a union election thanks to the grassroots group of current and former Amazon employees.
The fledgling union was defeated in a second election at a nearby warehouse.
Last year, Amazon increased its average hourly wage to $18.
It is estimated that the new rise will cost $1 billion over the following year.
Separately, the firm announced changes to its pay access program, Anytime Pay, allowing employees to get paid more than once or twice a month.
Source: ABC News