Amazon offers ‘special recognition bonus’ to employees
Amazon on Monday said it will offer a “special recognition bonus” of up to Rs 6,300 to its employees in India, in line with similar payouts being made to staff in other countries.
The announcement comes amid a global campaign #MakeAmazonPay, which alleges that the e-commerce giant made big profits, but at a huge cost to workers and the planet.
In a blogpost, Amazon Worldwide Operations Senior Vice President Dave Clark said India operations employees who were employed by the company from October 16-November 13 will qualify for a bonus of Rs 6,300 for full-time employees and Rs 3,150 for part-time employees.
“I’m grateful to our teams who continue to play a vital role serving their communities. As we head out of the festive season in India, we want to share our appreciation through another special recognition bonus, totaling more than USD 500 million globally for our front-line employees,” he said.
Clark noted that combined with other holiday pay incentives, in this quarter alone, Amazon is investing over USD 750 million in additional pay for its front-line hourly workforce, on top of its industry leading pay.
This brings the total spent on special bonuses and incentives for teams globally to over USD 2.5 billion in 2020, including a USD 500 million ‘thank you bonus’ earlier this year, he said.
“Our teams are doing amazing work serving customers’ essential needs, while also helping to bring some much-needed holiday cheer for socially-distanced families around the world. I’ve never been more grateful for - or proud of - our teams,” he added.
In an article in The Guardian, Casper Gelderblom, a coordinator at the Progressive International, said the campaign, using the hashtag #MakeAmazonPay, brings together warehouse workers, environmental activists and advocates for racial, tax, and data justice around the world.
The article mentioned that organisations and groups including UNI Global Union, Amazon Workers International, PSI, IndustriALL, Athena coalition, International Trade Union Confederation, Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, Greenpeace, 350.org, Les Amis de la Terre, Tax Justice Network, Oxfam and Data 4 Black Lives are supporting the campaign.
“Through strikes, boycotts and solidarity actions, people are ready to fight Amazon’s malpractice and defend the rights of workers, citizens and frontline communities bearing the burden of environmental breakdown”, Gelderblom said, adding that the global movement is to ensure Amazon pays its workers properly, respects their right to organise, and builds worker power.
The article points out that Amazon made USD 960 billion in the past decade, but paid just USD 3.4 billion in taxes.
It points out that the workers in Amazon’s warehouses are unhappy, alleging exploitative HR practices – particularly when Amazon’s valuation and Jeff Bezos’ personal wealth has skyrocketed in the pandemic.
There are allegations that the e-commerce giant monitors its warehouse workers, and has spied on their efforts to organise.
Regarding the article, an Amazon spokesperson said this is a series of misleading assertions by misinformed or self-interested groups who are using Amazon’s profile to further their individual causes.
Amazon has a strong track record of supporting its employees, customers, and communities, the spokesperson said in a statement.
These include providing safe working conditions, competitive wages, and great benefits, leading on climate change with the ‘Climate Pledge’ commitment to be net zero carbon by 2040, and paying billions of dollars in taxes globally, the spokesperson added.
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