Higher Wages in, Benefits Out

     The Amazon Shipping Company recently raised the hourly wages of its factory workers from $11 to $15 on Oct. 2nd, 2018.
     While this was great news for their employees, a simple addition to their message went under the radar-“with decrease in benefits”. With the raise in employee wages came the loss of many benefits and a steep decrease in employee bonuses and hiring rates.
     “The company offers scholarship money, health insurance and the opportunity to invest in the company with their Restricted Stock Unit Program (RSU) after working there for two years,” said Kristina Boyd, an employee of an Amazon shipping facility.
     On the surface it was noticed that it was becoming harder to be hired at Amazon and people were being fired in waves and Boyd claims, “the promotions that used to be plentiful were drooping in numbers.” With the rise in pay came the equal-if not greater- rise in expectation of production. A new standard was set and those who did not meet it were considered expendable and treated as such.
     The increase in hourly wages also led to the company deciding to cut performance bonuses. For employees who had recently became a part of the company this was not as damaging a blow as it was to older, more experienced workers.
     Those who were among the higher echelon of workers in terms of production made approximately $300 in performance bonuses per month on top of the paycheck they were already receiving and in turn will now be making much less than usual. The newer workers never knew of the earlier benefits so no issue would be found, but even that could change as it is rumored that this process of cutting from the employees is still ongoing.
     “Usually around this time, (before November and December) people would usually be given more hours and the bulk of bonuses would have been handed out,” said Boyd.
     As for the RSUs, since the company’s stock shares had doubled in price the investment plans were discontinued; but Amazon commented on their website that they would continue some form of Direct Investment in the coming year. According to a company statement the reason that they had done this is because they had received numerous reports from employees favoring the immediate money in place over the larger increase that would have been provided annually hereby putting them first.



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