After backlash, Amazon to boost pay for longtime workers

Marco Green
October 12, 2018

Amazon's recent move to raise the minimum wage of its directly employed and contracted workers to at least $15 an hour led to some employees calculating they would earn less with the elimination of bonuses and stock awards.

The company said Wednesday that "slight adjustments" are being made this week, and workers who already made $15 an hour will get more than the $1 an hour raise promised last week.

Many voiced their complaints internally and on social media. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) that its minimum wage hike outweighs cuts to stock bonuses and incentive-based pay that rankled some employees. "It's a slap in the face". Employees will get more details on their pay changes before the new policy takes effect on November 1, according to Bloomberg. The company said today it plans to adjust wages and bonuses to ensure those workers don't receive lower wages as a result. Warehouse workers making below $15 an hour now will receive raises that amount between $2,000 and $7,000 more a year, depending on location, length of employment, and position. Hourly bumps so far have amounted to 25 cents, 50 cents, and as high as $2 an hour, depending on the facility and the employee's tenure.

Amazon said in a statement at the time that the changes meant "compensation will be more immediate and predictable".

In lieu of stock, Amazon will pay a cash bonus of $1,500 at five years, and $3,000 at each subsequent five-year employment anniversary.

"Definitely happier, but we are still losing a bit", said the Maryland worker of the changes.

The company's communications with its hourly workers - 250,000 people in the USA spread over more than 100 facilities and multiple work shifts - has been uneven. One worker said he was informed late last week of a pay increase that left his hourly rate below $15 an hour. The employee, who asked for anonymity for fear of being fired, said he first heard about those details from the media.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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