A worker sorts packages at an outbound docking station at an Amazon fulfillment center in Eastvale, Calif., on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021.
Vachara Famicinda | MediaNews Group | The Riverside Press-Enterprise via Getty Images
Starting in October, Amazon’s average starting pay for front-line workers in the U.S. will rise 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 will spend an estimated $1 billion on wage increases over the next year to attract and retain employees in a historically tight labor market. It’s also preparing to enter what’s known as “peak” season, a particularly busy shopping period associated with the holidays.
Tensions between Amazon and its front-line workforce are growing, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Employees are demanding higher wages, more paid time off and adjustments to performance expectations.
Workers at several Amazon sites 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 will face another union election at a site near Albany, N.Y., next month.
Company said earlier this month it planned to raise wages and benefits for drivers employed by members of its contract delivery network, which handles an increasing share of its deliveries in the last mile to customers’ doorsteps.
Along with the salary increase, Amazon has also rolled out a salary advance program for its employees, which allows them to receive up to 70% of their earned salary at any time and without commission, rather than just on a schedule such as once every two weeks.