Given the stories about working conditions at Amazon, who is really surprised this turned out to be another bit of fakery from Jeff Bezos?
Amazon garnered praise for raising the minimum wage for its hourly workers to $15 yesterday, but the widely-publicized move also came at the expense of monthly bonuses and stock options. The company explained its decision to shift to a new stock purchase program in the announcement blog post yesterday, citing that hourly employees preferred the “predictability and immediacy of cash to RSUs,” or restricted stock units, but the post doesn’t mention the loss of monthly incentives, which Bloomberg reported earlier today.
Several Amazon warehouse employees have criticized the move, stating they would actually be losing thousands in incentive pay. Currently, warehouse workers get two shares of Amazon stock when they’re hired ($1,952.76 per share as of writing), and an additional stock option each year. After the changes take effect, the RSU program will be phased out for stocks that vest in 2020 and 2021, and it will be replaced with a direct stock purchase plan by the end of next year.
An Amazon warehouse worker told The Verge via email that the news was devastating to fulfillment employees, many of whom depend on their RSU and VCP (variable compensation pay, a performance-based monthly bonus program) incentives on top of their hourly wages. VCP incentives, which are dependent on good attendance and hitting productivity targets, could get Amazon workers an 8 percent monthly bonus, and a 16 percent bonus during the peak November and December seasons.
Amazon workers have been responding to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ tweet praising the minimum wage raise, citing that on November 1st, many workers will have their paychecks cut, not raised.
Remember guys, the Democrats are the party of compassion. The party of the little guy. The party of the humble worker.
It’s definitely NOT a party of rich fatcats whose “ideology” involves exploiting the poor and desperate to line their own pockets.