Responding to critics, Amazon raises its minimum wage to $15

Amazon is rolling out a $15-an-hour minimum wage for all of its USA employees, a response to criticism that the company was profiting from work done by low-paid workers even as founder Jeff Bezos became the world's richest man.

The company also said it would press for a change to the USA minimum wage level. In the US, Senator Bernie Sanders has publicly accused the company of underpaying its workers, and last month introduced a bill aimed to force Amazon to increase the amount it pays workers.

The only thing that isn't clear is if these wage increases also affect Amazon's delivery drivers, many of which are classified as gig economy workers. It also applies to workers at subsidiaries such as Whole Foods. Bernie Sanders and others, Amazon stressed that the number reflects its employees' pay worldwide; the median salary for a full time employee in the USA, the company said, is $34,123 - a figure it said should be compared to other retailers.

One of the most prominent critics has been US Sen.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos walks onstage for the launch of the new Amazon Fire Phone, in Seattle, June 16, 2014.

Amazon and Bezos this year have been criticized repeatedly for the wages Amazon pays warehouse workers, who make up the bulk of Amazon's workforce.

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Amazon, which became just the second company ever to cross $1 trillion in worth as company earlier this year, said it plans to push the federal government to increase the minimum.

The last hiring figures from the U.S. Commerce Department showed that in August, the pace of hiring rose again and wages grew at their fastest pace in nine years. They are self-employed contractors who either work with independent delivery companies or in Amazon Flex to deliver Amazon parcels.

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

On Tuesday, fast food workers in MI are going to kick off a series of protests in the Midwest and elsewhere around the country in support of unions and a $15 minimum age.

According to various jobs listing sites, Amazon is looking to hire some 90 people in N.C.

Amazon is also increasing wages in some areas outside the U.S. The company announced that the minimum wage will be 10.50 pounds an hour in London and 9.50 pounds in other parts of the UK.

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