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Amazon is raising some workers’ pay further after controversy

Amazon is raising some workers’ pay further after controversy

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Amazon will further raise a planned wage increase for some workers, and will offer bonuses as a replacement for previous compensation plans, after controversy over changes to employee payment, according to Bloomberg.

The company announced last week that it would begin paying all of its employees at least $15 per hour, but the plan soon led to backlash from some workers, who said that cutting certain incentives, like monthly bonuses and stock options, would lead them to earn less overall. Now, as first reported by Bloomberg, Amazon is making some changes to the initial plan.

Amazon is changing the initial plan

First, a planned increase of $1 for workers already making $15 per hour will increase to an additional $1.25 per hour for some workers, according to Bloomberg. Bonuses will also be offered that replace previous compensation offers for long-term employees, allowing employees to earn $1,500 to $3,000 for staying at the company at milestones over five to 20 years, Amazon confirmed to The Verge.

But it’s not clear how much the announcement will do to ease concerns among workers at the company. Amazon has repeatedly said throughout the controversy that the increases will be enough to offset other losses in compensation for employees, but some workers have remained troubled. This week, Sen. Bernie Sanders, a critic of Amazon, asked the company to respond to the controversy.

In a response to the letter provided to The Verge, Jay Carney, Amazon’s Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Affairs, said employees “prefer the predictability and immediacy of cash,” and that the wage increase “more than compensates” for other forms of pay. The wage changes are effective November 1.

“We moved quickly to get this information to our teams as fast as possible knowing there would be certain cases that would need to be adjusted between the announcement and November 1st when this new $15 minimum takes effect,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. “As we have said throughout this process we have been adjusting site by site and person by person as needed since the announcement to ensure everyone experiences the benefit of this change.”

Update, 8:05PM ET: Includes more information on bonuses and statement from Amazon spokesperson.