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Amazon temporarily raises overtime pay for warehouse workers

It hopes a boost will help it handle demand during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
March 21, 2020
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AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

Amazon is still determined to meet demand spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's willing to offer warehouse workers incentives to keep shipments going. In a statement to Reuters, the internet giant said it was raising overtime pay for US warehouse workers until May 9th. Staffers will get "double" their usual hourly rate for every hour past their standard shift. They previously received 50 percent more pay during overtime hours.

The temporary pay hike could ensure that more workers agree to work overtime, or at least offer a consolation if they feel they have little choice but to stay longer. It comes on top of the company's plans to hire 100,000 additional workers and raise base pay by $2 through April.

These are only fleeting increases, however, and don't address both new and longstanding concerns about working conditions at Amazon's facilities. The company has already had to deal with a coronavirus infection at a warehouse, and senators have raised alarms about the lack of standard paid sick leave and hazard pay. Amazon is promising up to two weeks of pay for anyone either diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine, but that might not prevent an ill worker from showing up if they feel they can't afford time off.

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