Amazon gives workers another pay bump to make up for lost bonuses

Workers will also get cash rewards for tenure milestones every five years.

Marrian Zhou Staff Reporter
Marrian Zhou is a Beijing-born Californian living in New York City. She joined CNET as a staff reporter upon graduation from Columbia Journalism School. When Marrian is not reporting, she is probably binge watching, playing saxophone or eating hot pot.
Marrian Zhou
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Workers prep Prime Now deliveries in an Amazon warehouse.

Inside an Amazon warehouse. 

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Amazon has increased pay for some longtime warehouse workers after the company was criticized for taking away bonuses and stock rewards.

The e-commerce giant changed some workers' hourly raises from $1 per hour to $1.25 per hour, and added new cash bonuses of $1,500 to $3,000 for tenure milestones every five years, according to Bloomberg. Employees with good attendance in December will also reportedly receive a $100 bonus.

Amazon workers last week criticized the company for eliminating monthly bonuses and stock rewards after the retail giant pledged to raise the minimum hourly wage to at least $15, according to Bloomberg. Workers with pay already above $15 per hour would get an hourly raise of $1. Longtime Amazon employees expressed concern because new hires would get a much bigger wage bump than they would.

Watch this: Amazon boosts its minimum wage to $15 an hour

The company said workers would see their total compensation increase this way. Employees will get more details on their pay changes before the new policy takes effect on Nov. 1, according to Amazon.

"Because it's no longer incentive-based, the compensation will be more immediate and predictable," an Amazon spokesperson said in an email statement.

The spokesperson noted that while some employees have benefited from a bull market and an increase in Amazon's stock price in recent years, stock price appreciation isn't guaranteed to continue. For employees who do want to invest in stock, Amazon plans to offer a direct stock purchase plan in 2019.

In addition, Amazon on Tuesday sent a letter to Sen. Bernie Sanders promising that all of its US workers on hourly wages will receive more pay under the new policy, according to the Washington Post. Sanders has said that Amazon workers get paid and treated poorly, and in September he introduced the "Stop BEZOS Act"  to put more pressure on the e-commerce giant, led by CEO Jeff Bezos. 

First published on Oct. 10 at 1:25 p.m. PT.
Updated Oct. 11 at 7:47 a.m. PT: Added a statement from an Amazon and information about Amazon and Sen. Bernie Sanders.