Just in time for the frenzy of holiday shopping, Amazon has announced that it will now pay all of its minimum-wage workers $15 an hour. Over 250,000 workers will receive this pay increase.
“We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a press release. “We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.”
But not everyone is necessarily happy about the increase in their pay.
This is because Amazon is paying for this wage increase in part by ending their warehouse bonuses and stock awards. But Amazon says its workers prefer the higher wages to bonuses.
“We’ve heard from our hourly fulfillment and customer service employees that they prefer the predictability and immediacy of cash to RSUs [restricted stock units],” the company said in the press release. “We will be phasing out the RSU grant program for stock which would vest in 2020 and 2021 for this group of employees, replacing it with a direct stock purchase plan before the end of 2019.”
Some employees have voiced their disapproval of the change.
“It’s a joke,” Amazon warehouse employee Vicki Shannon Allen said to NBC News. “We get no more bonuses for not missing any work.”
Still, Amazon assures employees that the wage increase will indeed boost their overall compensation, even with the removal of these RSUs.
“We can confirm that all hourly Operations and Customer Service employees will see an increase in their total compensation as a result of this announcement,” an Amazon spokesperson told NBC News, further stating that the wage increase will “more than compensate” for the change in employee benefits.
It seems many Amazon employees do agree. When the news of the minimum wage increase was shared, workers burst into cheers of approval, as seen in the video below, shared on YouTube by CBS News:
What do you think? Would you prefer a higher wage or bonuses and stock options?
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