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After backlash, Amazon offers more money to hourly workers

Amazon’s move is expected to impact more than 250,000 full- and part-time employees and another 100,000 seasonal workers.

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Image: Orlando Sentinel

A week after it announced plans to raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour, Amazon is making some further adjustments to its compensation packages. The move comes after the e-commerce giant received criticism for also eliminating stock options and bonuses to some of the same employees who are receiving an hourly raise starting Nov. 1.

According to Bloomberg, Amazon employees already earning $15 per hour will now get raises of between $1 and $1.25 per hour. There’s also a new cash bonus of $1,500 to $3,000 for tenure milestones at five, 10, 15, and 20 years. In December, Amazon also plans on distributing $100 bonus for works with good attendance.

The pay increase came with some caveats

When Amazon announced the pay hikes earlier this month, it also said it would eliminate incentive pay and future (stock) grants. In a statement, it says the revised plan “more than compensates” for this phase-out.

Some Amazon employees aren’t so sure, however. Bloomberg explains:

Workers suspect they could lose money, according to an employee who asked not to be identified. The previous cash bonuses based on attendance and productivity could total more than $2,000 a year, which made a $1-an-hour raise a wash, according to another person familiar with the pay policies.

Bloomberg also notes that the elimination of stock options that were awarded annually in exchange for the five-year bonuses could still leave a percentage of employees coming up short in comparison.

Amazon had long been criticized for the wages of its hourly workers. When announcing the company’s new $15 minimum, CEO Jeff Bezos noted, “We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead.” As part of that leadership, the company hopes to convince the U.S. Congress to raise the national minimum wage, which currently stands at $7.25.

Amazon’s move is expected to impact more than 250,000 full- and part-time employees and another 100,000 seasonal workers.

What are your thoughts on Amazon’s revised plans? 

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Bryan considers himself a well-rounded techie, having written articles for MakeUseOf, KnowTechie, AppAdvice, iDownload Blog. When he's not writing, he's being a single dad and rooting for his alma mater, Penn State, or cheering on the Patriots.

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