Amazon confirms it is raising pay for warehouse staff and delivery drivers by $1 per hour

An Amazon delivery worker pulls a delivery cart full of packages during its annual Prime Day promotion in New York
An Amazon delivery worker pulls a delivery cart full of packages.Brendan McDermid/Reuters
  • Amazon announced Wednesday it's upping pay for warehouse workers and drivers by roughly $1 per hour.

  • Insider reported earlier Wednesday Amazon was planning pay increases.

  • Amazon has faced organized worker protests and unionization battles this year.

Amazon announced Wednesday it is increasing the average starting pay for its warehouse workers and drivers from $18 per hour to $19 per hour, starting in October.

Insider's Katherine Long reported Amazon was planning broad pay raises of between $0.50 and $1 on Wednesday before Amazon's announcement.

Amazon said in its press statement it will spend almost $1 billion on the pay changes over the next year.

Amazon also announced it is changing a program it calls Anytime Pay, which allows workers to access up to 70% of their pay at any point during the month.

Whereas previously workers picked times once or twice a month to get paid, Amazon says they'll now be able to access Anytime Pay "as often as they like."

Amazon did not say specifically why it had chosen now to up pay for its warehouse workers and drivers.

"Continuing to invest in pay, providing easy access to earned wages at any time during the month, and offering great benefits and career advancement opportunities are all part of our long-term efforts to be the best employer in the world," Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations John Felton said in a statement.

Some Amazon workers have been pressuring Amazon to improve pay and benefits this year.

Workers at an Amazon air freight hub walked off the job in August in protest over pay and working conditions, and the company is facing a new union battle at a warehouse in Albany.

This year saw the creation of the first US Amazon warehouse workers' union at a facility in Staten Island, New York.

Amazon warehouse workers in the UK protested in August after being awarded a pay rise of 35p (38 cents).

Analysis from Cornell University found American workers are increasingly turning to industrial action this year compared to 2021, in part driven by soaring inflation.

Amazon did not immediately respond when contacted by Insider to ask whether it would extend the pay raises to workers outside of the US.

Read the original article on Business Insider