While Amazon recently announced it would be increasing its minimum wage to $15 per hour, as previously reported by the Inquisitr, there may be some unexpected downsides for workers along with those bigger paychecks.
According to CNBC, workers will be losing their monthly bonuses and stock awards.
Amazon confirmed to CNBC in an email that workers would indeed lose those bonuses and stock options but said that they felt the wage increase “more than compensates” for the lack of other benefits.
“The significant increase in hourly cash wages more than compensates for the phase out of incentive pay and [restrictive stock units]. We can confirm that all hourly Operations and Customer Service employees will see an increase in their total compensation as a result of this announcement. In addition, because it’s no longer incentive-based, the compensation will be more immediate and predictable.”
CNBC confirmed the reports after other outlets initially reported on the impact the minimum wage spike might have on workers.
The Guardian, for example, reported that warehouse workers used to receive one Amazon share, which is worth $1,959, at the end of the year, on top of another stock option every five years with the company.
According to Bloomberg, Amazon employees were told about these changes on Wednesday.
Addressing the change, Amazon CEO and world’s richest man Jeff Bezos said in a statement published by the Washington Post, “We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead. We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.”
Many on social media credited the change to the pressure put on Bezos by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who’s crusade against worker mistreatment by massive companies like Amazon has gained a ton of momentum.
Sanders introduced the cleverly named “Stop Bad Employers Zeroing Out Subsidies Act” (Stop BEZOS Act) that would levy huge penalties against large companies if their workers were forced to rely on government benefits like food stamps or Medicaid.
Senator Sanders praised Bezos for what he saw as a step in the right direction when it comes to the way the company treats its employees.
“What Mr. Bezos today has done is not only enormously important for Amazon’s hundreds of thousands of employees,” Sanders told reporters. “It could well be, and I think it will be, a shot heard around the world.”
“Bottom line is that, in the richest country in the history of the world, we are seeing massive levels of income and wealth inequality,” Sanders said. “In this country, our standard should be that if you work 40 hours a week, you should not be living in poverty. I hope very much that other corporate leaders around the country will follow [Bezos’s] example.”
While Amazon might be basking in some of the positive attention from upping their minimum wage, it remains to be seen how people will receive the news that employees might suffer from their loss of stock options and bonuses.