As it battles back against numerous media reports of working conditions in its fulfillment and sortation centers, Amazon has a new PR battle on its hands – a report that it has given workers raises of just 25 to 55 cents an hour, according to the Washington Post.
The Post – owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos – quoted an anonymous part-time Amazon worker in San Bernardino, CA who received a 40 cent an hour raise to $13.15 an hour, his first wage bump since being hired in 2014.
“It wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough at all,” the worker said, according to the Post. “The HR manager in the room was like, ‘Aren’t you excited? Come on, clap!’ We started a slow clap, with no emotions on our faces. A 3% raise in four years — it feels like damage control.”
A spokeswoman for Amazon told the Post the company evaluates pay annually to ensure they remain competitive. Other retail and ecommerce companies have complained about Amazon luring away associates by raising wages just above theirs, which is more pronounced in busy distribution hubs.
Nationwide there is pressure mounting for a $15 minimum wage, with some cities instituting it. At the same time, many ecommerce companies are challenged to find enough associates in a tight labor market, especially in the run-up to peak season.
“Wage increases are standard practice for Amazon,” spokesperson Ashley Robinson said. “Sometimes the increases are on a rotational basis or determined by local demand so we can continue to attract local talent and retain existing employees.” She added they were not in response to “external factors” but standard practice heading into the holidays.
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