Amazon gives front-line workers a $500 coronavirus bonus

Key Points
  • Amazon on Monday said it will provide warehouse, delivery, Whole Foods workers, as well as some Flex drivers, with a one-time "Thank You" bonus for working during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Full-time Amazon employees will receive a $500 bonus, while part-time workers will get a $250 bonus.
  • It comes as Amazon in June ended pay raises and double overtime pay for front-line workers.
A worker loads customer orders into a waiting tractor-trailer inside the million-square foot Amazon distribution warehouse that opened last fall in Fall River, MA on Mar. 23, 2017.
John Tlumacki | Boston Globe | Getty Images

Amazon is providing front-line workers with a one-time bonus to "show appreciation" for employees who continue to come to work during the coronavirus pandemic, the company announced Monday. 

In a memo to employees, Dave Clark, Amazon's senior vice president of retail operations, said the company will pay full-time warehouse, Whole Foods and delivery workers a $500 bonus. Part-time workers will receive a $250 bonus, while Flex drivers who deliver packages for Amazon will receive $150 if they worked more than 10 hours in June. Whole Foods store managers will get a $1,000 bonus, and owners of Amazon's third-party delivery services will get a $3,000 bonus.

"My thanks and gratitude for the truly remarkable commitment to customers you have shown throughout this journey," Clark wrote in the memo. "I have never been more proud of our teams."

The bonus applies to full- and part-time workers who were with Amazon throughout the month of June, as well as teams in the U.S. and Canada.

In March, Amazon announced it would provide warehouse, delivery and Whole Foods workers with a $2 per hour pay raise, while warehouse workers were also given double overtime pay. The wage increases and double overtime pay came to an end in June. 

Since then, workers have expressed frustration that their hazard pay was being cut even as the pandemic has persisted and they still face threats to their safety and health. Calling the situation "life or death," a group of California-based Amazon workers have circulated a petition demanding the reinstatement of hazard pay, paid sick leave and child care pay, among other things.

Amazon defended its decision to end the wage increases and double overtime pay, saying these pay premiums were announced to "help meet increased demand" from online orders, which has since stabilized.  

Tensions have been growing between Amazon and warehouse workers nationwide, with employees claiming the company hasn't done enough to protect them from the coronavirus. Amazon has previously said it's gone to "great lengths" to keep facilities clean and make sure employees are following necessary safety precautions, such as wearing a mask, using hand sanitizer, practicing social distancing and other measures.

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