Come June, Amazon warehouse workers fulfilling heightened demand amid the coronavirus pandemic will no longer receive an additional $2 an hour.
The e-tail behemoth announced that it has extended its wage hikes, as well as double overtime pay, in the United States and Canada through the month of May. However, these policies will not continue into next month.
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Currently, U.S. employees earn an extra $2 per hour, while U.K.-based workers take home an added 2 pounds (or $2.47) per hour. Those in other European countries receive another 2 euros (or $2.16) each hour. Overall, Amazon continues to pay its associates $15 per hour or more.
In a statement, Amazon said it has invested nearly $800 million to boost hourly pay for employees and partners during the COVID-19 health crisis. “We continue to see heavy demand during this difficult time,” a spokesperson said, “and the team is doing incredible work for our customers and the community.”
Amazon first announced in March that it would raise wages for hourly employees as well as provide double overtime pay for warehouse and delivery workers as they shouldered heightened demand as well as worked on the front lines of the pandemic amid shelter-in-place and other similar orders. A month later, it extended those benefits through mid-May.
Due to its status as an essential retailer, Amazon has continued operating its warehouses even in the states and localities where stay-at-home orders are still in effect to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. The Seattle-based company has reported a spike in demand for certain products as panicked shoppers load up on household goods and shop online instead of in stores.
Since mid-March, Amazon has sought to fill 175,000 full- and part-time roles. While it said it has implemented a number of measures to protect employees from contracting the illness, the e-commerce giant has been on the receiving end of criticism from both workers and lawmakers, who have accused it of not doing enough to keep its workplaces safe and healthy.