What's more, Amazon (amzn)-the second-largest private-sector employer in the US -is now lobbying the government to increase the federally-mandated minimum wage, set nine years ago, from $7.25 an hour. The new minimum wage will benefit more than 250,000 Amazon employees - including part-time and temporary employees - as well as another 100,000 seasonal employees, the company said.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon chief executive, said he was "excited" to announce the changes, which he said would impact more than 37,000 employees across the United Kingdom, "resulting in higher pay for them and their families".
Last month, Amazon said that the average hourly wage for a full-time associate in its fulfillment centers was already more than $15 per hour.
The company's public policy team will also be advocating for an increase in the federal minimum wage, which is now $7.25 per hour.
The company didn't say how many workers were making less than $15 an hour.
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Bureau of Labor Statistics show ordinary workers in the US private non-farm sector on average earn $22.73 an hour.
Amazon made the announcement on a company blog this morning. It also applies to workers at subsidiaries such as Whole Foods.
This decision follows sustained pressure from Senator Bernie Sanders, who has attacked Amazon for how little it pays its workers, and introduced a bill in September entitled "Stop BEZOS," which would tax large companies whose low-wage employees rely on government assistance.
The federal minimum wage for the U.S.is now $7.25, though most states offer higher wages.
The company, which bought Whole Foods Market in a $13.7 billion deal previous year, opened a general store in New York City in September after launching a few small grocery shops known as Amazon Go in Seattle and Chicago. The median pay for an Amazon employee past year was $28,446 worldwide, according to government filings, which includes full-time, part-time and temporary workers.
The increased raise comes at a time when the "Fight for Fifteen" movement - a union-led push for a $15 minimum wage - has been gaining traction in cities across the country.