As part of the efforts aimed at improving employees’ welfare, Amazon made headlines this week with its $15 per hour minimum wage for U.S. workers only.
Image shows Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO
Although Amazon’s new pay doubles the federal minimum wage of $7.25, the online giant was criticized for withdrawing bonuses, including stock, which were previously allocated to warehouse workers.
The company says it will end bonuses accruing to employees based on productivity level and attendance. These payments would have added a boost to the $15 minimum wage and $28,466 median pay per year.
Amazon announced that the new wages will go into effect by 1 November, adding that no seasonal, temporary, part-time or full-time staff in the United States will be omitted.
In response to critics who slammed Amazon for restricting its stock unit program, which allocates shares to workers once they spend a certain number of years, the company said a new program that will allow staff to buy stock is underway. No details were provided.
‘Compensation will be more immediate and predictable with the changes,’ Amazon.com Inc. says. Other benefits such as health insurance and 401(k) retirement accounts were not altered.
Amazon CEO and founder, Jeff Bezos, said on Tuesday that the improved welfare package is an outcome of public opinion polls aimed at enhancing productivity and sustaining profits.
His words: ‘We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead.’
The 54-year-old investor and tech entrepreneur continued, ‘We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.’
In addition to committing to higher minimum pay, according to Newsmax, Amazon says it will lobby policymakers in Washington D. C. to effect a higher federal minimum wage.