Amazon Getting Rid of Monthly Bonuses & Stock Awards for Some Employees to Pay for Minimum Wage Hike

Nick Kangadis | October 4, 2018
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Uh oh. So much for everyone praising Amazon for their announcement that they’re raising the minimum wage of all of their workers to $15/hr. Oh, they’re still getting the raise, but it comes with a caveat that could see certain Amazon employees make less than they were before.

Bloomberg is reporting that while Amazon is raising their minimum wage to $15/hr., the one-stop shopping giant “is eliminating monthly bonuses and stock awards for warehouse workers and other hourly employees.” Amazon is doing all of this to help pay for the minimum wage raise.

According to Bloomberg:

Warehouse workers for the e-commerce giant in the U.S. were eligible in the past for monthly bonuses that could total hundreds of dollars per month as well as stock awards, said two people familiar with Amazon’s pay policies. The company informed those employees Wednesday that it’s eliminating both of those compensation categories to help pay for the raises, the people said.

Even that sounds pretty like a risky trade-off, Amazon insists that their “hourly operations and customer-service workers” will still see an increase in their total compensation.

But, that’s not all! You might be asking yourself, ‘What about the employees who were already making $15/hr.?’ I’m glad you asked.

Apparently, employees who were already making $15/hr. will receive a $1/hr. raise. Some employees are reportedly pretty upset about this since “newly hired workers…will see hourly pay bumps of as much as 40 percent.

To put that into perspective, if a worker that was already making $15/hr. received a 40 percent raise, they would subsequently see their hourly pay increase to $21/hr. Instead they’ll receive $16/hr. Wow! Thanks, Amazon!

I’d be pretty upset if I worked hard to get to $15/hr. and now I only make $1 more an hour than people who were just hired at the level of what is now the company's minimum wage.

As far as the stock options, San Diego State University professor David DeBoskey discounted the new plight of the warehouse workers.

“In a tight labor market, when you’re the leader paying $15 an hour, that’s a big advantage,” DeBoskey said. “They probably realized people weren’t applying for warehouse jobs for the stock options.”

What if some of those workers did apply for a warehouse job knowing stock options were on the table? Amazon is a pretty attractive stock, after all.

One Twitter user responded to Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) applauding of Amazon's minimum wage hike:

It seems as though not everyone is as happy about Amazon's raising of their minimum wage as they were on Tuesday.

H/T: The Verge