Amazon has responded to a backlash over changes to its minimum wage announcing that it would provide extra benefits for long-time employees.
Last week Amazon announced that it would be raising its minimum wage pay to £9.50 an hour from November 1, but scrapping monthly bonuses and stock grants for hourly workers.
Despite many praising the move, including outspoken Amazon critic Bernie Sanders, long-time workers subsequently hit back at the new pay measures stating that they would actually receive less pay without the benefits, sparking a widespread backlash.
The online giant has now responded stating that some workers would receive an extra hourly pay boost to make up for their losses on a “site by site and person by person” basis.
Though its routine productivity bonuses, which increased around the upcoming holiday period, have been scrapped Amazon announced that it will introduce cash bonuses for long-time employees.
A lump sum will be granted to workers after five, 10, 15 and 20 years of service, in what it described as a “more immediate and predictable” compensation structure.
This will also replace the widely coveted awards of restricted stock units which were previously given out to employees, which thanks Amazons stock prices doubling this year alone were highly valued.
“All hourly operations and customer service employees will see an increase in their total compensation as a result of this announcement,” Amazon said.
“The significant increase in hourly cash wages effective November 1 more than compensates for the phase out of incentive pay and future (restricted stock unit) grants.
“Some employees have benefited from a bull market and the unusually strong appreciation of Amazon’s stock price in recent years.
“This is a good outcome for those employees, but such stock price appreciation is by no means guaranteed to continue. Stock markets and individual stocks can go up, but they can also go down.”
Next year it is understood that Amazon will introduce a direct stock purchase plan for employees.