Tech

Amazon to end wage increases and double overtime pay in June

Key Points
  • Amazon confirmed to CNBC that it's extending hourly wage increases and double overtime pay for warehouse workers until May 31.
  • The announcement means that, come June, these policies will go away for frontline Amazon workers. 
  • Amazon has faced criticism for its decision to end its unlimited unpaid time off policy, which allowed workers to stay home without pay and not be penalized for missing shifts.
Peter Endig | AFP | Getty Images

Amazon is once again extending wage increases and double overtime pay for its workers through May 30, but both policies will come to an end in June.

In March, Amazon said it would raise hourly wages and provide double overtime for warehouse and delivery workers. It later extended those benefits through May 16. However, Amazon won't be extending those policies beyond May 30, the company said.

"We are grateful to associates supporting customers during a time of increased demand, and are returning to our regular pay and overtime wages at the end of the month," a company spokesperson said. News of the extension and end date was previously reported by Recode

Workers can earn an extra $2 per hour in the U.S., £2 ($2.47) per hour in the U.K., and approximately 2 euros ($2.16) per hour in many EU countries. Amazon currently pays $15 per hour or more in some areas of the U.S. for warehouse and delivery jobs. Any employees working overtime at its U.S. warehouses will earn double their hourly wages. 

While Amazon has extended hazard pay for workers, it continues to face criticism for its decision to end its unlimited unpaid time off policy. Warehouse workers previously told CNBC that the policy was a valuable resource for them during the pandemic, since it allowed them to stay home without pay and not face any penalties for missing their shift. 

The spokesperson said Amazon continues to provide flexibility for employees with its leave-of-absence options, which were recently expanded to accept applications from "high risk individuals" or workers impacted by school closures. 

Tensions have been growing between Amazon and warehouse workers nationwide, as the numbers of confirmed cases and deaths at its facilities have climbed. Warehouse workers have called for the company to put in place greater safety protections, including providing paid sick leave and closing down facilities where there are positive cases for additional cleaning. 

Amazon said it would invest its expected $4 billion second-quarter profit in coronavirus-related efforts, such as wage increases, purchasing additional safety gear for workers and building out its coronavirus testing capabilities, among other things. A spokesperson said that the company has spent nearly $800 million on increased pay for hourly employees and partners during the Covid-19 crisis.

VIDEO17:0917:09
What it's like inside an Amazon warehouse during the Covid-19 pandemic