Amazon said Wednesday that the average starting wage for warehouse workers and delivery drivers is rising to more than $19 an hour, up from $18 previously, at a time when union pushback continues to spread across many of its facilities.
With the raise, which will take effect next month, Amazon’s front-line workers will earn between $16 and $26 an hour depending on their position and location in the country, the company said.
Amazon is investing nearly $1 billion in salary increases and other employee benefits, according to the company.
The announcement comes ahead of the e-commerce giant’s busy holiday season, with rising inflation more broadly taking a toll on Americans’ paychecks.
The moves also come as Amazon has faced efforts to organize jobs at multiple warehouses, many of which stem from frustration among workers over how the company has treated them during the pandemic, as well as an increased national focus on racial justice and equity.
Workers at a warehouse in Staten Island, New York, made history earlier this year when they voted to form the company’s first U.S. union. Another union election will be held next month at an Amazon facility near Albany, New York. These workers want to unionize with the same Amazon Labor Union group that was successful in Staten Island.
Through their organizing efforts, Amazon workers are seeking higher wages, job security, improved conditions at their facilities, and more voice in the workplace.
In addition to the salary increase, the company said Wednesday it is expanding its pay access program, called Anytime Pay, to all employees in its U.S. operations. The program allows Amazon employees access to up to 70% of their salary during the month, with no fees. Previously, most Amazon employees received their paychecks once or twice a month.