Amazon Inc has announced that its warehouse and transportation workers will receive an average starting wage of more than $19 per hour, a significant increase in pay from the previous hourly rate of $18. A wage hike would help the company retain workers in a tightening U.S. labor market as gifting season approaches.
It is estimated that Amazon will lose nearly $1 billion over the next year as a result of the pay rise. In the United States, employees will now earn between $16 and $26 per hour depending on their position and location. According to Reuters, Amazon’s minimum wage for hourly employees remains $15 in the U.S. Amazon’s decision comes as some workers continue to push for union representation at its U.S. facilities. So far, only one Amazon facility has voted to unionize.