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Why Is Amazon Giving Away $500 Million?

Last Update: July 7, 2020

Amazon is providing more than $500 million to front-line workers who were with the organization throughout June as a “Thank You Bonus”. This step occurred after the e-commerce giant gave up the $2 hourly increase and double pay for overtime work for front-line workers at the end of May. 

This is what the Amazon Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations Dave Clark said regarding the bonuses:

“Our front-line operations teams have been on an incredible journey over the last few months, and we want to show our appreciation with a special one-time Thank You bonus totaling over $500 million.”

How Much Money per Worker Are We Talking About?

The amounts workers will receive in a one-time bonus vary. Amazon’s full-time workers, delivery service partner drivers, and Amazon-owned Whole Foods employees will receive a $500 bonus, part-time employees or drivers will receive $250, front-line managers at Amazon and Whole Foods will receive $1,000, and owners of delivery service partner companies that help getting orders delivered will receive $3,000. Amazon Flex Drivers that worked more than 10 hours throughout the month of June are getting  $150

How Did Amazon Handle the Pandemic

Throughout the pandemic, Amazon saw growing demand as people stay home and look to their goods and services as a helping hand for household goods. Yet it has also been the target of criticism over the working conditions at its warehouses spread through 110 distribution centers employing 400,000 people throughout North America. They were also publicly criticized for failing to provide adequate details on the true effect of the health crisis on its staff. At least 10 deaths occurred among its warehouse workers who tested positive for coronavirus. 

Earlier this month, the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James interviewed staff from multiple Amazon warehouses in New York City as part of an investigation into employees ‘ concerns about health measures linked to coronavirus.

The firm is also facing a lawsuit at its Staten Island facility over an alleged lack of coronavirus protections. 

Working on Process Changes

In response to the suit, Amazon said it has taken a number of measures to prevent the virus from spreading, including making more than 150 “process changes” to its security improvement operations. 

When announcing its earnings for the first quarter, Amazon said it spent more than $600 million in the first three months of the year on coronavirus-related costs, and that it estimated these costs to grow to at least $4 billion in the second quarter.