Amazon raising minimum wage for U.S. workers to $15 per hour

An employee packages a product at an Amazon Fulfillment center. Julio Cortez  AP

Amazon says the $15 minimum wage will benefit more than 250,000 Amazon employees, plus 100,000 seasonal workers. The policy goes into effect Nov 1.

The company came under fire for producing an anti-union video that suggested employers push back against efforts to introduce a "living wage". "The current rate of $7.25 was set almost a decade ago", Jay Carney, senior vice president of Amazon global corporate affairs, said in a statement.

Inside Amazon's Prime Now warehouse within a Manhattan highrise. One of its harshest critics is U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.

The company and CEO Jeff Bezos have been facing criticism for its pay disparity. Sen.

Online retailing giant Amazon is raising pay for hundreds of thousands of workers in the U.S. and the UK. Starting wages were lower, according to Amazon's own job postings, with job listings at more than 80 facilities so far this year indicating average starting pay of about $12.75 an hour, and as low as $10 an hour.

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Amazon said it would increase its minimum wage for all full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees. And some companies have responded to the public pressure. Some employees who already make $15 per hour will also see a pay increase. That's the fastest annual gain since the Great Recession ended. It also comes as United States workers fight for $15 wages across the country.

California announced in October 2017 it would raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2023.

The company's announcement comes just ahead of the holiday hiring season.

But corporate profits in the USA are booming, and that wealth isn't being spread out almost fast enough for many.

Amazon shares, trading lower before the company announced the wage hike, were down less than 0.3 percent at $1,997.75 in trading before the bell. With a healthy USA economy, Americans looking for work have an increasing number of job options, so Amazon has to find ways to entice people to join its company.

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