Amazon has agreed to boost the average pay of frontline workers in the US, adding increasing pressure on the firm this side of the Atlantic to bolster pay.
The e-commerce giant said it would boost salaries from $18 to $19 (£16.60 to £17.60) per hour, while transportation teams would earn between $16 and $26 an hour.
The minimum wage at the company, which employs roughly 1.5 million frontline workers, will remain $15 an hour as it heads into the crucial Black Friday and Christmas period.
Although the changes were introduced as part of an annual wage review process, the hike comes as unionisation talk continues to grow in the US and UK.
“Amazon is worried about running out of workers but it is offering real-terms pay cuts in both the UK and the USA,” Laurence Turner from the trade union GMB told City A.M.
“The company needs to recognise unions to tackle workers’ safety concerns and give workers their fair share.”
An Amazon spokesperson said on the matter: “We conduct wage reviews annually to ensure employees are earning competitive hourly wages that are in line with, or higher than, similar jobs locally.”
Hundreds of workers continue to vote on whether to walk out over Amazon’s 35 pence per hour pay offer, with GMB lobbying for a £2 per hour increase as the cost-of-living crisis continues to batter Brits.
The vote could mean 300 members of staff refuse to work, causing severe disruption for distribution at that centre.
Amanda Gearing, GMB Senior Organiser, said voters were “making history”. “Amazon can afford to do better. It’s not too late to avoid strike action; get round the table with GMB to improve the pay and conditions of workers.”
More informal protests have also taken place over the last couple of months, including a two-night strike of warehouse workers in Tilbury, Essex last month.