Amazon is raising its warehouse workers' base pay to $19 per hour and giving them a flexible paycheck option known as Anytime Pay.
Amazon warehouse workers can now look forward to an increase in pay and new benefits. The average starting wage has increased to $19 an hour and employees can access pay with a new benefit called Anytime Pay. Anytime Pay allows employees instant access to their pay throughout the month.
This pay increase comes just in time for the peak holiday season as Amazon prepares to start rolling out holiday deals in October. This pay increase also comes as some Amazon warehouse workers have been fighting for workplace unionization. Amazon has said that the pay increase will cost the company 1 billion dollars over the next year.
In the past, Amazon has faced scrutiny for less-than-ideal work conditions. In one case, an Amazon warehouse worker was denied sick leave and later died on the job. In another incident, an Amazon warehouse worker suffered a heart attack while working one of the Amazon prime deal events and later died.
Additionally, there are numerous other incidents of on-the-job deaths and reports of serious injury. There have even been reports of Amazon working to silence employees regarding workplace incidents according to a report by NBC News. In the same report made by NBC news, an Amazon warehouse worker claimed that he was detained during his lunch break by a man who said he was an ex-FBI agent, this is alarming and something that should be taken seriously.
Amazon warehouse workers have been fighting back and working to unionize. The efforts have proven ineffective as Amazon has been actively firing workers who vocalize support of a workers union. Amazon warehouse workers are not giving up though, as they continue to actively fight for the best interests of all Amazon warehouse workers.
Though $19 is well above the average minimum wage of workers in America, it leaves us with a question. It is worth it? It leaves workers in a sticky spot as they are working to support themselves and their families.
Sometimes it is not an option for Amazon warehouse workers to simply quit their jobs regardless of the poor work conditions. When you have families to support, it just isn’t that simple. Moreover, it should not even be a matter of discussion of providing safe working conditions to employees, it should be automatic.
All things considered, it is not enough to increase average pay by one measly dollar and give employees instant access to the pay when some workers are not even making it through their shifts. Amazon should listen to the voices of their employees and work to improve pay and most importantly, workplace conditions, really giving its employees something to look forward to.
Amazon warehouse workers will continue the fight for a fair and safe work environment. While the giant tech company appears to be putting on a face in making changes to wages and benefits, it’s time they take accountability. As the largest online retailer, it is time that Amazon leads by example and provides safe working conditions in addition to an increase in pay and benefits.