Amazon hikes pay for USA and United Kingdom workers following criticism

"We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead", said CEO Jeff Bezos.

The current UK minimum wage is £7.83 for workers over the age of 25 and the minimum wage now paid to UK Amazon workers is £8 an hour, meaning they will get a minimum increase in pay of 18%.

Amazon said it would increase its minimum wage for all full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees. Not to mention the company fought Seattle's Head Tax, that would have seen its tax liability increase, albeit slightly, to offset issues around affordable housing. Amazon purchased the Whole Foods grocery chain in August 2017.

Amazon has recently been targeted over its pay by Senator Bernie Sanders, who last month introduced a less-than-subtly-named piece of legislation called the Stop Bad Employers by Zering Out Subsidies-"Stop BEZOS"-Act".

Jeff Bezos, Amazon chief executive, said he was "excited" to announce the changes, which he said would impact more than 37,000 employees across the United Kingdom, "resulting in higher pay for them and their families".

And Walmart, the country's largest private-sector employer, which has more than 1 million USA workers, raised its minimum wage to $11 in February. 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. New York state announced similar measures for New York City residents as part of its 2016-17 budget, with large companies - more than 11 people - mandated to raise their wages to $15 by the end of 2018. "The current rate of $7.25 was set almost a decade ago". The retail giant, run by the world's richest man, was criticized earlier this year after revealing its workers' median pay was $28,446.

The pay hike announced by Amazon Tuesday arrives right as retailers head into their most crucial season ahead of the holidays.

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.

"We will be working to gain congressional support for an increase in the federal minimum wage".

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