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Amazon Raises Overtime Pay As American Choose To Shop Online


03/22/2020


Amazon Raises Overtime Pay As American Choose To Shop Online
With a large spike in the growth of demand for online products by people who are stuck at home because of lockdown in cities in the United States because of the coronavirus pandemic, the world’s largest online retailer Amazon.com has said that it will be increasing its overtime pay for those associates who are working in its warehouses in the US to that the company is able to cope up with the increased demand.
 
The company said that it will give double pay for all those hourly workers at the warehouses after they complete 40 hours for overtime compared to 1.5-times rate that was paid earlier starting from March 15.
 
"All hourly associates working in the US Ops network will receive double their regular hourly rate for every overtime hour worked in a workweek," the company said in a statement. "This temporary increased overtime pay is effective March 15, 2020 and will continue through May 9, 2020."
 
Within the past week, the e-retailer giant has increased pay for its workers twice. The company had announced on Monday that it will increase the hourly pay for its associates from $15 to $17 while also announcing its plans to hire about 100,000 workers at its warehouses and delivery activities in the US because of the increased online shopping spree by consumers due to the coronavirus spread.
 
Additionally, in order to encourage employees to stay home if they do not feel well, Amazon has also announced offer of unlimited time off without pay for its employees with the rise in the spread of the virus pandemic. The company has also spread out workers’ shifts over a period of time and made workers to sit at a distance from one another while they are in the lunchroom to limit contact and prevent anyone getting infected by the novel coronavirus.
 
However displeasure that Amazon had not taken enough steps to protect staff at its warehouse by four Democratic US senators, including Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders, in a letter to the company’s Chief Executive Jeff Bezos. The senators also questions whether the company would provide "time-and-a-half" hazard pay to its workers.
 
The company was forced to temporarily close shutters of a warehouse in New York after it was found that one of the workers at the warehouse had tested positive for the virus, a first for the company.
 
A number of clothing retailers and department-store chains have been forced to down their shutters with the spreading o the coronavirus pandemic across the US while restaurant operators have either also shut down operations or are currently only offering delivery and takeaway services.
 
This opportunity is being seized up by online retailers and grocery stores as they strive to meet the demand left unfilled by the closed stores as more US residents are ordering products from online services as they are forced to stay indoors because of the virus pandemic.
 
While announcing plans to hire 150,000 hourly associates in the US, Amazon’s rival retailer Walmart Inc also said on Thursday that it will be paying a total of $550m in cash as bonuses to its workers as rewards.
 
(Source:www.aljazeera.com)