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The Reality of Amazon’s Raising of its Minimum Wage

In October 2018, Amazon announced that it would be raising the minimum wage paid to its U.S. workers to $15 per hour. This wage increase also applied to Amazon-owned Whole Foods as well. The Guardian recently published a report indicating that this increase in pay has resulted in a loss of overall wages for Whole Foods employees.
According to employees interviewed for the article, store management has been cutting hours for both full-time and part-time employees. When the pay increase went into effect, all employee wages went up to at least $15 per hour with team leaders receiving an extra $2 per hour. Now many employees are reporting steady cuts to their hours. Each of the workers spoke to the Guardian anonymously for fear of retaliation. One Illinois worker reported full-time employees had their hours cut from 37.5 hours to 34.5 hours while part-time employees averaged a cut of 24 hours from 30 hours. This assertion was substantiated by schedules shown to the paper’s reporter. This worker claimed the same amount of work was required but in less time.
Another Whole Foods employee in Maryland said that her store had full-time employees working four hours less a week, making any raise hike worthless to the employee. In an Oregon store, an employee stated that full-time employees were relying on their paid time off to bring up their hours to 40 now that they have been cut. A California employee reported similar issues about hours being cut and employees seeking work elsewhere. A spokesperson from a group of organized Whole Foods employees reported that many Whole Foods employees are earning less now after the wage increase due to the labor hour reductions. Per the Guardian, Amazon refused to respond to requests for comments.