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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, October 11, 2018 1:00 am

Amazon OKs higher raises for experience

Longtime workers claimed wage hike would not help them

JOSEPH PISANI | Associated Press

NEW YORK – Amazon, facing a backlash from longtime warehouse employees who say its $15 hourly minimum wage wouldn't benefit them, will provide a bigger raise to those workers.

The company said Wednesday that some adjustments are being made this week, and workers who already made $15 an hour will get more than the $1 an hour raise promised last week. The amount will differ by warehouse and affect a small amount of employees, but Amazon declined to say how many.

When Amazon announced last week that it would boost its hourly minimum wage to $15, it also cut two benefits: monthly bonuses and a chance to own Amazon's sky-rocketing stock, currently worth nearly $1,800 a share. Several employees told The Associated Press last week that they expected to earn less because of the cut benefits.

Amazon said in a statement at the time that the changes meant “compensation will be more immediate and predictable.” The Seattle company, which has more than 100 warehouses around the country, said “the significant increase in hourly cash wages more than compensates” the benefits that will be phased out.

A worker at a Maryland warehouse, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of being fired, said employees were told Tuesday that they would get a raise of $1.25 an hour after Nov. 1.

That's 25 cents more an hour than what they had been told last week.