Amazon will start paying U.S. employees a minimum of $15 an hour on November 1

Amazon recently came under fire over the issues of inadequate pay for its workers and the poor working conditions across its facilities. Today, the online retail giant is increasing the minimum salary to $15 per hour for all U.S. employees, including part-time and full-time employees.

The company announced that the $15 minimum wage will take effect beginning on November 1. That means more than 250,000 employees and 100,000 casual holiday workers will benefit from the new salary raise.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder and CEO, said:

We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do and decided we want to lead. We're excited about this change, and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.

The minimum wage also applies to employees working for Amazon's subsidiaries including Whole Foods Market. The company also said that it will work with policymakers in Washington, D.C. to push for a higher federal minimum wage. Jay Carney, Senior Vice President of Amazon Global Corporate Affairs, said the company is seeking congressional support for a hike in the federal minimum wage as the current rate of $7.25 (set a decade ago) is already outdated.

Amazon employees will continue to receive the existing benefits provided by the company. It is worth noting that the new salary scheme won't require workers to meet any incentive targets.

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