Jeff Bezos and Amazon have made a sizable fortune during the pandemic, with Bezos increasing his wealth $25 billion this year alone to a total of $143 billion.
Yet, Amazon is axing its frugal $2 an hour hazard pay for its warehouse workers in a couple of weeks.
“Amazon plans to extend hazard pay for warehouse workers through the end of May, but it will return to normal pay rates in June, the company’s top operations executive told Recode in an interview on Tuesday. The decision comes as Amazon faces intense scrutiny from progressive politicians, activist groups, and its own workforce over its treatment of its front-line employees who have kept working during the coronavirus pandemic.
In mid-March, as the pandemic shut down businesses across the world that are deemed nonessential, Amazon started paying its warehouse and delivery employees in the US an additional $2 per hour as well as double overtime pay. It offered similar temporary pay increases for front-line staff in Canada, the UK, and some European countries.
‘We’re going to do one more extension on it and push it out until the end of the month,’ Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations, told Recode.
When Amazon announced the first wage hike on March 16, it was set to run through the end of April. Amazon later extended the policy through May 16. Now the increases will end on May 31.
‘We continue to see incredible demand from customers right now and … our team’s response in coming back to work has been really great as well,’ Clark said. ‘We think it’s the right thing for employees and the right thing for customers to keep it on for a couple of weeks.’
Asked why the pay bump won’t continue into June, an Amazon spokesperson did not answer the question directly.”
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