Amazon to pay the employee bonus amid the threat of black Friday strikes

In the quarter in which revenue is expected to exceed $ 100 billion for the first time, Amazon says it will spend $ 500 million on a one-time Christmas bonus for its front-line employees.

Payment dumping, which is only paid in January, is taking place amid growing calls for a black Friday shopping weekend strike and union involvement.

Dave Clark, head of operations for the e-commerce group, said on Thursday that full-time employees in the U.S. from December 1 to December 31 will receive $ 300. Part-time workers would receive $ 150.

Workers in the UK will receive £ 300 and £ 150 respectively.

“This means that our total cost to our global teams of bonuses and incentives will exceed $ 2.5 billion in 2020,” Clark wrote. “Including a $ 500 million thank you bonus earlier this year.”

The bonuses apply to warehouse workers and transport drivers. Drivers working through Amazon Flex, the company’s concert app, will receive a $ 100 bonus if they work at least 20 hours in December.

Amazon announced it on the eve of Black Friday, the day of the bumper shopping day, during which U.S. consumers are expected to exceed $ 10 billion, Adobe forecasts nearly 40 percent more than last year.

Meanwhile, a coalition of dozens of advocacy groups and workers ’unions is trying to disrupt Amazon’s supply chain and logistics, protesting the level of pay, worker safety and benefits. The groups also demand that the company mitigate its environmental impact and pay more taxes.

UNI Global Union said exits and related measures were planned in at least 15 countries where the company operates or has suppliers, including the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany – where the Verdi union said it had organized a three-day strike in seven countries. Amazon distribution centers in the country. This follows a June strike organized by the same group.

Organizers say the groups represent about 40,000 Amazon employees worldwide, although it’s unclear how many will participate.

“This is a series of misleading claims made by misinformed or self-interested groups who use Amazon’s profile to promote their individual goals,” Amazon said in a statement.

“Amazon has a wealth of experience in supporting our employees, customers and communities, including providing safe working conditions, competitive wages and big benefits, leading the way in climate change with Climate Pledge’s commitment to net carbon emissions by 2040, and pays billions of dollars in taxes worldwide. “

In April, Amazon temporarily closed six facilities in France after a court ruling required it to handle essentials only during the coronavirus epidemic. The warehouses reopened in mid-May after several weeks of negotiations between Amazon and the unions.

In the United States, despite repeated attempts, there is no recognized Amazon union. The influential retail, wholesale and departmental union aims to represent about 1,500 workers at a facility in Bessemer, Alabama. “When workers form a union, they gain dignity and respect in their workplace,” reads the website created to support the effort.

“If Amazon workers in Alabama – a strong anti-union state – vote to create the union, it will be a worldwide shot,” Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders wrote on Twitter. “If they can negotiate higher wages and better working conditions in the South, it will benefit all workers in America.”

Referring to the leaked internal documents, a recent vice president reported that Amazon hired Pinkerton, a private intelligence agency, to be involved in the destruction of unions.

Amazon has denied using the agency for this purpose, stating in a statement, “We have business partnerships with specialty companies for a number of different reasons – in Pinkerton’s case, to ensure high-value deliveries.

“We don’t use our partners to intelligence warehouse workers. All our activities are in full compliance with local laws and take place with the full knowledge and support of local authorities. “

Daily newsletter

#TechFT provides news, comments, and analysis on the big companies, technologies, and issues that shape the fastest movement of sectors from professionals around the world. Click here to receive #techFT.