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Amazon increases pay rise of workers to address backlash after scrapping bonuses

James Cook
Amazon announced a second wage increase for its warehouse workers in the US - AP

Amazon has announced that it will give a second pay rise to its warehouse employees in the US following criticism from some employees who claimed their total compensation would actually decrease after an original planned pay rise.

Amazon announced last week that it would raise its minimum wage in the UK and US. The company said it would hike the minimum wage it pays workers in London to £10.50 an hour from £8.20 previously, and to £9.50 an hour from £8 for the rest of the UK.

In the US, workers will receive $15 an hour from the start of November, up $1 from their previous rate. The company also announced that it would end monthly bonuses and stock grants for its hourly workers.

Some Amazon employees in the US have claimed that the hourly pay rise wouldn’t make up for the loss of other benefits.

In response to those employees, the company wrote a letter to Senator Bernie Sanders in which it said that it would now increase wages by $1.25 per hour for employees paid over $15.

Amazon will also offer cash bonuses to workers who have served at the company a long time. After five years a worker will get $1,500. After 10, 15 and 20 years, they will receive $3,000.

Amazon employees in the UK will not get a similar second pay rise, an Amazon spokesman said on Thursday.

Amazon will also introduce new cash bonuses for work anniversary milestones and for good attendance in December.

“All hourly operations and customer service employees will see an increase in their total compensation as a result of this announcement,” wrote Jay Carney, Amazon’s senior vice president for global corporate affairs.

“The significant increase in hourly cash wages effective November 1 more than compensates for the phase out of incentive pay and future RSU grants,” he wrote in the letter.

Members of Parliament welcomed Amazon’s announcement last week that it was raising wages for its employees in the UK.

Chris Elmore MP said Amazon had "finally started to deliver what our trades unions have been campaigning hard for years for", while Charlie Elphicke, who acts as MP for Dover, said it was a "very welcome" move.