Allstate Embraces a $15 Minimum Wage

In its annual shareholder report, the insurer announced that it planned to adopt a $15 per hour pay floor for its corporate workers in the US, in pursuit of “attracting and retaining the best people,” Becky Yerak reports for the Chicago Tribune:

Nearly 10 percent of Allstate’s U.S. workforce has received or will receive the compensation increase, said Maryellen Thielen, spokeswoman for the Northbrook-based company. They work in such areas as claims processing and call centers. At the end of 2015, Allstate had about 41,100 full-time workers and 500 part-time employees.

Allstate’s move comes as some cities and states are phasing in wage increases that will grow to $15 an hour or more. The Fight for $15 movement launched in 2012 to demand a $15 minimum wage and union rights for fast-food workers, but since then, airport workers, adjunct professors, teachers, and nursing home and child care employees and others have waged their own fights against what they say are poor working conditions and general corporate greed.

To compensate for increased payroll costs, the company looks to be scaling back some other benefits:

At the same time it disclosed its $15 minimum compensation, however, Allstate also said it has “restructured” its U.S. employee pension and medical benefit costs “to spread these benefits more evenly across employees.”

“This keeps the overall cost structure competitive while ensuring we have the best team,” it said.