WASHINGTON: Amazon.com said yesterday it is raising overtime pay for associates working in its US warehouses, as the world’s largest online retailer tries to meet the rapidly growing demand for online shopping from consumers stuck at home during the coronavirus outbreak.
Hourly workers at the
warehouses will receive double pay after 40 hours for overtime, up from the 1.5-times rate, from March 15 to May 9, the announcement said.
“All hourly associates working in the US Ops network will receive double their regular hourly rate for every overtime hour worked in a workweek,” the company said in a statement. “This temporary increased overtime pay is effective March 15, 2020 and will continue through May 9. 2020.”
This is the second time the e-commerce giant announced an improvement in pay for its workers in a week. On Monday, Amazon raised the hourly rate for associates to $17 from $15 and announced plans to hire 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers in the US as the virus outbreak boosts online orders.
As the virus spreads across the US, Amazon has offered unlimited unpaid time off to encourage employees to stay home if they don’t feel well. It has also staggered workers shifts and prohibited employees from sitting next to each other in the lunchroom to limit contact.
But four Democratic US senators have expressed concern in a letter to Amazon’s chief executive Jeff Bezos that the world’s largest online retailer has not taken enough measures to protect its warehouse staff.