A worker sorts out packages in the outbound dock at the Amazon fulfillment center in Eastvale, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021.
Watchara Phomicinda | MediaNews Group | The Riverside Press-Enterprise via Getty Images
Amazon is increasing hourly wages for its warehouse and delivery workers, the company announced Wednesday.
Starting in October, Amazon̵[ads1]7;s average starting pay for front-line workers in the United States will increase 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 is still $15 an hour.
Amazon is spending roughly $1 billion on wage increases over the next year as it looks to attract and retain employees in a historically tight labor market. It is also preparing to enter what is known as the “high season,” the particularly busy shopping period associated with the holiday season.
Tensions have grown between Amazon and its frontline workforce, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. The employees have called for wage increases, more paid time off and adjustments to productivity expectations.
Workers at several Amazon facilities have taken steps to organize, and earlier this year workers at Amazon’s warehouse in Staten Island, New York, voted to form the company’s first US union. Amazon faces another union election at a site near Albany, New York, next month.
The company said earlier this month that it planned to raise wages and benefits for drivers employed by members of its contracted delivery network, which handles a growing share of deliveries to customers’ doorsteps.
Alongside the wage increase, Amazon said it is also expanding an advance program for its employees that allows them to access up to 70% of their eligible earned wages whenever they want and without fees, not just on a schedule, such as every two weeks.
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