Amazon will pay its full-time frontline workers a holiday bonus of $300 in recognition of their extra efforts during this challenging year, with part-time workers set to receive $150.
With the pandemic-fighting measures forcing many people to retreat into their homes for much of 2020, online shopping services like Amazon have seen a huge uptick in orders.
To cope with the surge in demand, the e-commerce giant spent much of the spring and early summer hiring around 175,000 people to work in its U.S. warehouses alongside existing staff.
“As we head into the peak of the holiday season, we want to share our appreciation through another special recognition bonus, totaling more than $500 million for our frontline employees,” Dave Clark, senior vice president of Amazon Worldwide Operations, wrote in a blog post. Clark confirmed that eligible recipients of the one-off payment include those who remain employed by the company between December 1 and December 31.
The online shopping company came under fire earlier in the year as some of its warehouse employees accused it of failing to do enough to protect them from catching the coronavirus in the workplace. In October, Amazon revealed that of all of its 1.4 million U.S.-based frontline workers (including those at Whole Foods Market) employed at any time between March and September, 19,816 employees (excluding delivery drivers) tested positive, or were presumed positive, for the coronavirus. Amazon said its data showed the infection rate among its workforce was 42% lower than expected when compared with the rate in America’s general population for the same period, as reported by Johns Hopkins University.
The company hasn’t said how many pandemic-related deaths have occurred among its workforce, and declined to offer any such information when contacted by Digital Trends recently.
Amazon has been investing large amounts of money in dealing with the impact of the coronavirus on its business, spending heavily on safety kits and COVID-19 testing for workers, while also implementing temporary wage increases.
The company is no doubt hoping that the cash bonus will put a spring in the step of its workers as it heads into what could be one of the busiest holiday seasons for online shopping on record.
“Our teams are doing amazing work serving customers’ essential needs, while also helping to bring some much-needed holiday cheer for socially distanced families around the world,” Clark said. “I’ve never been more grateful for — or proud of — our teams.”
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