Amazon to Raise Average Hourly Pay by $1 to $19 in October

by Haleluya Hadero

Associated Press

Thursday September 29, 2022

An Amazon worker delivers boxes in Los Angeles on Oct. 1, 2020
An Amazon worker delivers boxes in Los Angeles on Oct. 1, 2020  (Source:AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

Amazon said Wednesday it's raising its average starting pay for frontline workers from $18 to $19 a hour, a boost that could help it attract more employees in a tight labor market as the holiday season approaches.

Amazon said that beginning in October, warehouse and transportation workers would earn between $16 and $26 an hour, depending on their position and location in the U.S. The minimum wage at the Seattle-based e-commerce company, which employed roughly 1.5 million workers as of the end of June, will remain $15 an hour.

The pay raise follows an announcement from Amazon that it will hold a Prime-Day like holiday shopping event in October, the first time it is having a major sales drive twice in a year, following its Prime Day deals event in July. Target and Walmart also said last week they will offer holiday deals or gift returns in October to accommodate cash-strapped consumers expected to shop earlier and spread out their spending for the holiday season.

The company is also offering the pay bump amid a growing unionization movement inside its warehouses, driven by worker complaints over pay and working conditions. Next month, Amazon warehouse workers in upstate New York will vote in a union election following an organizing drive spearheaded by the Amazon Labor Union, the grassroots group of former and current Amazon workers who pulled off a union win at a Staten Island warehouse in April. The nascent union then lost a subsequent election at a nearby warehouse.

Amazon had raised its average hourly pay to $18 an hour last year. It said the new raise would cost it $1 billion in the next year.

Separately, the company said its pay access program, Anytime Pay, will also change to allow employees to get paid more than once or twice a month.

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