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Amazon To End $2-An-Hour ‘Hazard Pay’ For Its ‘Worker Heroes’ As CEO Jeff Bezos - The Richest Person On Earth - Rings Up $30 Billion During Coronavirus Pandemic

Says One Amazon Employee: "Staff ‘Put Themselves At Risk Every Day.’ ‘Also With The Harsh Regime And Difficult Targets The Workers More Than Deserve The Pay Raise’ – ‘Permanently.’"

Published Monday, May 18, 2020
by Common Dreams
Amazon To End $2-An-Hour ‘Hazard Pay’ For Its ‘Worker Heroes’ As CEO Jeff Bezos - The Richest Person On Earth - Rings Up $30 Billion During Coronavirus Pandemic

Amazon says it will end $2-per-hour hazard pay for Workers at the end of May.

The rollback comes after an Amazon Employee recently told CBS more than 600 Amazon Workers have tested positive for COVID-19, with six dying of the disease.

An analysis by the Institute for Policy Studies estimates Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos - the richest person on Earth - has seen his wealth increase by $30 billion since mid-March.

The On-Line Retail Giant has repeatedly referred to its Workers as "heroes" as they carry out their jobs during the Coronavirus Pandemic, but the company just announced it is planning to end both $2-an-hour pay increases and double overtime for Warehouse Workers at the end of May even as Bezos sees his wealth continue to soar.

Whole Foods, the Amazon-owned supermarket chain, also informed its Employees that their $2 hourly raises will end on June 1st.

When Amazon announced the first wage hike on March 16th, it was set to run through the end of April," Recode reported.

Amazon later extended the policy through May 16th, but now the increases will end on May 31st, Recode further reported.

Asked by Recode why the Hazard Pay won't continue beyond the end of this month, an Amazon spokesperson dodged the question.

"This appreciation and pay incentive enabled us to deliver essential items to communities during these unprecedented times," the spokesperson 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."

One Amazon Employee called the company's decision to end Hazard Pay "disgraceful" in an interview with Business Insider.

"Staff ‘put themselves at risk every day,’" the Employee said. "Also with the ‘harsh regime and difficult targets the Workers more than deserve the pay rise permanently.’  ‘It just shows how very little regard Amazon has for its overworked’ Employees."

Another Amazon Worker told Business Insider the decision is a "slap in the face."

As Amazon moves to end small Hazard Pay increases for its Workers, an analysis released by the Institute for Policy Studies found Bezos saw his wealth increase by $30 billion between March 18th and May 14th.

Hundreds of Amazon Warehouse Workers and Whole Foods Employees have called in sick and walked off the job in recent weeks to demand better pay and adequate safety equipment.

One employee told CBS News that at least 600 Amazon Workers have tested positive for COVID-19.

"Amazon ‘treats the humans in the warehouses as fungible units of pick-and-pack potential,’" said former Amazon Vice President Tim Bray, who resigned in disgust earlier this month over the company's treatment of whistleblowers. "Only that's ‘not just Amazon, it's how twenty-first-century capitalism is done.’"

To Directly Access This Labor News Story, Go To: www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/14/slap-face-bezos-wealth-jumps-30-billion-amid-pandemic-amazon-end-2-hour-hazard-pay

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