Amazon raises minimum wage for United States and United Kingdom employees

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Inc. on Tuesday said it was raising the minimum wage it pays all US workers to $15 an hour, a move that comes as the company faced increased criticism about pay and benefits for its warehouse workers.

That could be good news for numerous Internet giant's workers across North Carolina. This wage increase will apply to not only the 250,000 full-time employees that the company has, but also to the 100,000 seasonal employees they hire each year prior to the holidays. Bernie Sanders last month introduced legislation called the Bezos Act to tax corporations for every dollar that their low-wage workers receive in government health-care benefits or food stamps. Starting pay is $10 an hour at a warehouse in Austin, Texas, and $13.50 an hour in Robbinsville, New Jersey. And some companies have responded to the public pressure.

"We intend to advocate for a minimum wage increase that will have a profound impact on the lives of tens of millions of people and families across this country", Jay Carney, senior vice president of Amazon global corporate affairs, said in a statement.

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Last fall Target committed to giving its employees $15 per hour by the end of 2020.

Workers across the country have pushed for a $15 minimum wage as they have drawn attention to growing income inequality.

All hourly USA employees in operations and customer service jobs, including those who made more than $15 an hour, would receive a pay bump in November, a spokeswoman said.

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Workers have been protesting against fast food chains like McDonald's Corp and demanding wage increases since 2012 but conditions at Amazon's warehouses, distribution centers and for its couriers have been drawing media attention and criticism for some time.

The retail giant revealed it would hike the minimum wage it pays workers in London to £10.50 an hour from £8.20 previously, and to £9.50 an hour from £8 for the rest of the UK.

The company also said it would press for a change to the United States minimum wage level. The increases will include 17,000 Amazon employees as well as 20,000 seasonal workers.

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