Amazon is facing a grumpy Christmas season as workers accuse their employer of cutting the variable compensation pay just before the holidays, a period when their wages would have been the most lucrative.
Time reports that on October 2, the company made a decision to increase the minimum wage to $15. However, many workers who were initially happy with the increase now realize that the new pay structure may not favor them. One worker said that she thought that the raise was in addition to her VCP and stock options. However, when she investigated the new pay structure she found out that "we're about to lose a lot of money." As another employee put it they have certain expectations as Amazon workers.
"It's an Amazonian thing: You get your stock, you get your VCP, everybody works for a goal, and we meet a goal," he says. "Once you take that, you take apart what Amazon's about."Upon investigation, Amazon employees are upset about these factors which influence their pay:
The Timing of Cuts Means A Poorer Christmas For StaffAccording to The Guardian, the GMB union said that Amazon did not say "a dicky bird about cutting staff benefits" when they announced the $15 minimum wage. They also said that staff would no longer be able to earn bonuses over the Christmas period.
Amazon employees were looking forward to their holiday pay which would have been boosted with up to 16% bonus during the peak sales months of October, November, and December. Many workers feel as if they have now been robbed of the chance to boost their income right before the holiday season.
Work During Stressful Holiday Season No Longer RewardedSome feel that the bonuses were a fair bonus for the added stress of the holiday season. A west coast employee is now reconsidering whether the added stress during this peak season is worth the remuneration package offered.
"During peak, we really give it our all. Everyone is on that same [mission]: 'Don't crash. Eat properly. Have your soda and coffee."
"What helps us come to work is we know that payout is going to be worth it.
Favoring Seasonal Amazon Workers Over VeteransSome veterans are already earning $15 per hour, and the 16% increase to them was significantly more to them than to others who were earning less. These employees only received $1.25 raise which means that their holiday pay is effectively nearly halved.
Other Amazon workers feel that the company is prioritizing its seasonal workers. They back up this claim with the statement that Amazon made when they announced that the new minimum wage would benefit "100,000 seasonal employees who will be hired at Amazon sites across the country this holiday."
Ashley Robinson, the Amazon spokeswoman, said that they value all of their employees.