BEIJING, May 14 (UPI) — Amazon will end a pay rise for warehouse workers starting in June after it offered about $800 million to raise the pay of warehouse workers in order to keep sorting goods during the COVID-19 outbreak,media reported. A group representing Workers at Amazon’s warehouses said it was too early for amazon to decide to stop the pay rise, given the risks to its employees.
Amazon, the world’s largest e-commerce company, has twice extended the pay rise, but a spokesman for Amazon said it had no intention of extending it for a third time and planned to start restoring workers’ pay levels before the outbreak in June.
As a result of the outbreak, a large number of brick-and-mortar stores were closed and consumers had to stay at home to escape the outbreak, so demand for Amazon surged and orders soared. As orders increased and delays in delivery of its packages worsened, they hired 175,000 additional warehouse workers in March and offered a raise of $2 an hour for hundreds of thousands of warehouse workers with a minimum hourly wage of $15.
However, Amazon said late Tuesday that it was already able to offer faster delivery to consumers as the number of employees grew.
The pay rise for warehouse workers will last until May 30. A spokesman for Amazon said: “We will also offer double overtime pay in the Us and Canada. These pay increases increased our costs to warehouse workers and partners by nearly $800 million during the COVID-19 outbreak. “
Asked if the company would restore its original salary and overtime pay after May 30, the spokesman said: “Yes.”
During the outbreak, supermarkets, warehouses and transport companies were allowed to continue operating, benefiting from increased demand and the large number of unemployed people added to the labour market, which had performed well during the outbreak. However, the treatment they offer to workers has led to regulatory scrutiny and protests from employees, who fear they are infected with the virus while at work and spread it to their families.
Earlier, Amazon employees from New York, Chicago and Minnesota protested for better treatment for employees. Several lawmakers have also written to Amazon asking them to release information about employee infections across the United States.
“Two weeks of pay increases is far from what we’re asking for,” Monica Moody, an Amazon warehouse employee in Charlotte, North Carolina, said in a statement. A minimum pay increase should be at least as long as the outbreak. We riskourd our lives to pack and deliver Amazon packages, and we should get compensation. “
Moody’s is a member of the United for Respect organization, which includes Wal-Mart employees in addition to Amazon workers.
Last month, Amazon said it would spend $4 billion this quarter to keep its business running and protect workers. The money will be used for pay rises, masks, staff temperature screening and increased warehouse disinfection efforts.
“We are going to see higher demand at this difficult time, and the team is doing an important job for our customers and communities,” Amazon said. (Moon Heng)