Amazon Workers Lose Monthly Bonuses, Stock Awards as Minimum Wage Increases

Megalith

24-bit/48kHz
Staff member
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
13,003
Amazon received plenty of positive press when Jeff Bezos announced he would be increasing minimum wage to $15, but like many great deals, it came with a catch: the company divulged just days later it had terminated monthly bonuses and stock awards for hourly workers. Amazon's warehouse employees now claim they will earn even less.

Some of Amazon's warehouse employees say they will make less as a result of this change. The Guardian said warehouse workers currently receive one Amazon share (worth $1,959) at the end of every year, on top of another single share reward every five years. Yahoo News noted that warehouse workers can earn up to 8 percent of their monthly income every month, which could be as much as $3,000 a year for some workers.
 

MMitch

Gawd
Joined
Nov 29, 2016
Messages
807
Well, that was some PR stunt by Amazon... Now that the cat is out the bag, I hope the media pressure make them review their decision(s).
In the end, employees need to make more money or fire has to rain on bezos for not been transparent and trying to gather as much fame and PR as possible with a bad decision for workers.
 

MikeTrike

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 16, 2005
Messages
8,752
I'm just gonna leave this emoticon here. :ROFLMAO:

This is also somehow related to Newton's third law...

fall_2013_sketcheskey_3.jpg
 

SPARTAN VI

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Messages
7,720
Amazon's spokesperson says the increase in wages offsets and surpasses their total cash compensation of their former wages + incentive-based bonus... meanwhile some workers contradict this saying they will now earn less than before.

Right, the folks who were under-performing or doing the bare minimum were probably getting smaller/zero bonuses and are now thrilled by the increase in base wages and elimination of incentive-pay. It makes sense, they get paid even better to do the minimum amount of work. Meanwhile those who were nailing all of their performance metrics, maximizing their incentive pay, now have their wages capped along with their under-performing peers. I've been there as recently as 3 years ago, and made the decision to move elsewhere in my company, which allowed me to keep my incentive pay.
 
Last edited:

mesyn191

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 28, 2004
Messages
2,983
meanwhile some workers contradict this saying they will now earn less than before.
There probably are a relative few getting paid less overall but if the vast majority make more money than its a huge win overall.

Generally speaking Amazon wasn't a company known for giving out pay increases or benefits of any sort for their min. wage workers, really employees in general, and generally were well known for treating people like crap on purpose to get temporary boosts in productivity.

the folks who were under-performing or doing the bare minimum
Amazon warehouses n' such were these min. wage jobs are primarily located aren't the sort where you could slack off much, if at all, and again were known for working people hard. And for firing those who don't keep up quickly. There are always a handful of people who find ways to slack off anywhere but generally those are the outliers.

"Some" workers will lose incentives. But "all" will get a min of $15 an hour. that's what they "all" wanted, right?
All? No. There are always a handful of people who'll go against this stuff but in general I'm sure the vast overwhelming majority of them are for it. Making everyone happy is usually an impossible task though.
 

BloodyIron

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 11, 2005
Messages
3,439
Pretty sure most of them prefer a steady, reliable, income increase, over a carrot on a stick bonus that only some people are eligible for.

Truth be told though, if you want better pay, educate yourself and strive for better jobs. I'm all for minimum wage increases, but when people have the means (I know many don't), they need to take action to better their situation.

Naturally my example is anecdotal, but I hear plenty of personal examples where people talk a lot more about getting paid more for low value work, instead of trying to change their "career" direction. They should be talking about both! Otherwise they're shooting themselves in the foot.
 

MikeTrike

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 16, 2005
Messages
8,752
It's not like Amazon could have afforded this any other way. /s

To be fair their margins are pretty tight...

upload_2018-10-7_12-46-30.png


upload_2018-10-7_12-56-19.png


That being said most people complaining have no sense of how things actually work when they hear that a company had a revenue of 100B+ for a year. Most assume "oh they have a hundred billion and are hoarding it."

business-school.jpg
 

PaulP

Gawd
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Messages
776
Amazon's spokesperson says the increase in wages offsets and surpasses their total cash compensation of their former wages + incentive-based bonus... meanwhile some workers contradict this saying they will now earn less than before.

Right, the folks who were under-performing or doing the bare minimum were probably getting smaller/zero bonuses and are now thrilled by the increase in base wages and elimination of incentive-pay. It makes sense, they get paid even better to do the minimum amount of work. Meanwhile those who were nailing all of their performance metrics, maximizing their incentive pay, now have their wages capped along with their under-performing peers. I've been there as recently as 3 years ago, and made the decision to move elsewhere in my company, which allowed me to keep my incentive pay.
Years ago I worked at a place that promised all pay increases would be merit based. They even instituted an extensive program to evaluate all employees using not only manager and peer input, but other productivity metrics as well. So when I found out from someone who had helped crunch the numbers that I was tied with one other guy for most highly rated programmer/analyst, I was thrilled. Then I discovered that everybody got the same percentage increase and I was pissed. There were a few people there that everybody knew were lucky to keep their jobs, and a lot more that only deserved a COLA. The turnover got bad after that, and 6 months later I was working somewhere else too. So yeah, Socialism sounds good, but doesn't work because when people work harder (or better), they expect to get more in return. It's human nature.
 

kirbyrj

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
26,881
Way to spin a cost cut Bezos -- save money by raising the minimum wage. (y)

And put the pressure on smaller retailers, mom and pop shops, etc. that can't afford to pay workers that much. This has everything to do with trying to muscle out competition and saving costs. Bezos isn't running a charity.
 

James Robinson

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Messages
292
There probably are a relative few getting paid less overall but if the vast majority make more money than its a huge win overall.

Generally speaking Amazon wasn't a company known for giving out pay increases or benefits of any sort for their min. wage workers, really employees in general, and generally were well known for treating people like crap on purpose to get temporary boosts in productivity.


Amazon warehouses n' such were these min. wage jobs are primarily located aren't the sort where you could slack off much, if at all, and again were known for working people hard. And for firing those who don't keep up quickly. There are always a handful of people who find ways to slack off anywhere but generally those are the outliers.


All? No. There are always a handful of people who'll go against this stuff but in general I'm sure the vast overwhelming majority of them are for it. Making everyone happy is usually an impossible task though.

Amazon VCP is based on productivity of the plant or building as a whole, with Oct/Nov/Dec giving double VCP. Also, this is in combination WITH mandatory overtime, which makes the whole season a veritable 'make my holiday' windfall for most workers, regardless of their tenure (provided they were not salary).

Unfortunately, most buildings have had their influx of goods during 'Peak' shunted off to newly built FCs, which reduces the amount of work for associates. Last year, our Plant Manager refused to call off mandatory OT, and for 3 months the entire building was more or less being shuffled from dept to dept annihilating what little work there was,.. which hurt productivity (too much time with people on the clock with no work getting done/none to do) Plant wide, so VCP was jack & shit. in 2016 I cleared over 60k after taxes... last year I BARELY broke 40k. This year looks even worse.
 
Last edited:

bugleyman

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 27, 2010
Messages
1,227
That being said most people complaining have no sense of how things actually work when they hear that a company had a revenue of 100B+ for a year. Most assume "oh they have a hundred billion and are hoarding it."

Meanwhile, other people freely engage in arrogant presumption.
 
Last edited:

MMitch

Gawd
Joined
Nov 29, 2016
Messages
807
Personally I prefer to have bonuses if I work harder than everyone gets the same pay. Because... well someone doing the bare minimum gets paid the same as someone been a hero on the floor..
Stupid and counter-productive because said "hero" will just slack off and you lose overall output.

Also, now, there's 0 incentive to innovate or work harder.

I like to be compensated for my ideas and hard work and I think this should be the norm. You work the minimum you get X. You bring new ideas and train others, you get YZ.
It's not true that because you have the same job title that you do the same amount of work, this should be recognized and years of work isn't the way.
 

TMCM

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 15, 2003
Messages
1,419
Wow!!! So they increased the pay to be still less than what minimum wage would be from the 1960's after adjusted for inflation
 
Joined
May 27, 2017
Messages
566
Pretty scummy, but on the bright side, you can take a break to the bathroom now without forfeiting bonuses.
 

Chris_B

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 29, 2001
Messages
5,047
So giving with one hand while his other hand is reaching for your wallet.
 

Draax

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 11, 2005
Messages
5,197
If the increased wage offsets the benefits than it is still a win for the employees. I know it’s passé here but I can’t just jump to a conclusion without seeing the breakdown. I mean there is the possibility of a win-win here where employees make more and the employer has less liabilities.
 

maxius

2[H]4U
Joined
Dec 17, 2001
Messages
3,372
this was more a play to keep the unions out if a union gets into amazon they will have to treat their workers as humans rather than slaves
 

MikeTrike

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 16, 2005
Messages
8,752
To be fair, using 1960 is the most favorable interpretation of the phrase "1960s" that you could have come up with. By 1969, the federal minimum wage was equivalent to just over $11/hr in today's dollars.

That said, you're correct: Amazon employees do clearly make more than minimum wage.

I was going to go with the mid-60's but that's less fun...
 

strikeout

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Messages
1,360
There probably are a relative few getting paid less overall but if the vast majority make more money than its a huge win overall.

Generally speaking Amazon wasn't a company known for giving out pay increases or benefits of any sort for their min. wage workers, really employees in general, and generally were well known for treating people like crap on purpose to get temporary boosts in productivity.


Amazon warehouses n' such were these min. wage jobs are primarily located aren't the sort where you could slack off much, if at all, and again were known for working people hard. And for firing those who don't keep up quickly. There are always a handful of people who find ways to slack off anywhere but generally those are the outliers.


All? No. There are always a handful of people who'll go against this stuff but in general I'm sure the vast overwhelming majority of them are for it. Making everyone happy is usually an impossible task though.


The biggest question is what percentage is winning and who is losing. If you have 15 or 20 workers maxing a 3k bonus while 1000 just get base pay then this is a huge win for the majority. If it were reversed, like 80% getting a bonus over the avg 15/hrs then its just PR coverup.
 

[Spectre]

[H] Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 29, 2004
Messages
16,600
The biggest question is what percentage is winning and who is losing. If you have 15 or 20 workers maxing a 3k bonus while 1000 just get base pay then this is a huge win for the majority. If it were reversed, like 80% getting a bonus over the avg 15/hrs then its just PR coverup.

Should the majority be getting a bonus over the minority? If the majority is getting a bonus over the minority is it then a bonus? Is it then an award for performance or is it an intrinsic change?
 

TheXev

n00b
Joined
Dec 8, 2011
Messages
6
It isn't just Amazon that is doing this. I work for Bluestem brands (think Fingerhut), and they recently did something similar. They still offer normal performance incentive (which imo is far more important then stock options) but they also raised their min hiring wages at their Irvine PA Distribution Center from 9.50 to 10.50 an hour. But to makeup that difference they made two other changes as well. You now must perform at a min 90% of the standard performance (previously 85% standard)to keep your job, and they lowered the maximum money you can make on the incentive curb so their top performers make even less money. What's worse is they eliminated ALL INCENTIVE PAY for people in "off standard jobs," or jobs the company as arbitrarily decided can't have their performance measured in any way (which in about 99.9% of those cases is a complete lie). I was given a .86 cent cost of living raise + normal pay raise, which seems nice, bringing me to $12.60 an hour... then immediatly after doing that they eliminated my incentive pay (so I lost $3 an hour) and increases the min pay for my particular job function to $12.50 an hour, especially lying to me about giving me a .40 evaluation pay raise and making that a .10 evaluation pay raise while ALSO CUTTING MY PAY BY $3 AN HOUR! My take home pay is less then when I started with the company making $9 an hour + incentive!

When I asked my supervisor about the only making .10 cents above premium (before the $3 an hours of incentive was cut) he told me “you should just be happy you got any pay raise.” Turns out it was a GIANT PAY CUT IN THE WORKS! Oh well, Bluestem will keep taking advantage of the fact that the previously ownership (Orchard Brands) threatened job termination to employees that wanted to unionize.

Meanwhile they increased 3rd shift premium rates from .50 cents an hour to 1.50 an hour because they can’t get hire enough people. So after doing the math, if I step down to a lower teer job from my A3 tere job (a job that in THEORY is supposed to pay you MORE than a base A1 job!?) making $12.50 base pay an hour and move to 3rd shift, I’ll make the max A1 pay of $11.83 an hour + $1.50 an hour and have the right to make incentive pay again while having less responsibilities then I have in my current job. I have the serious potential to bring home $17+ an hour WITH LESS RESPONSIBILITIES!

In short, it isn’t just Amazon that is screwing people, Bluestem brands is doing the exact same crap at their Irvine Distribution Center (although their program wasn’t nearly as good as Amazon’s to start). Bluestem also cut their starting pay for important jobs like maintenance technicians. They used to make the same hourly as supervisors (who now are all salary). But now an educated conveyor or hydraulic tech will start for a shitty $12.50 an hour (teer A3). You can work at the company for 3 years without an education and make the EXACT SAME PAY! They also moved many many other important jobs (like crane operators) down a pay teer to A2 (meaning that only starts at $11.50 an hour, barely more than what it used to start as). Most of this is a covert effort to get older employees to leave the company so they can be replaced by lower paid, higher performing workers. It seems almost every other week people are forced to retire now, but you can't call it age discrimination under the law if all of these retirements look "voluntary."
 

Wolf_Tech

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 19, 2010
Messages
226
Yep I just love when I hear people wanting min wage at 15.00 an hour. You get it and bang you think your making more money, but then your rent goes up your cost of food goes up and everything you buy in normal life goes up. The prices of things when min wage was lower is now the same price with the min wage higher so in the end your still making the same ammount. My first min wage job was 7.25 an hour. It was hard yes, but I was determined to get a education and I did 2 years of college worked hard. Got a job after at twice min wage. Then took night course in other fields working hard and moving up the latter. Been a long road trust me but now I work as a Network Systems Administrator for the marriot hotels. I never complained about min wage because it kept inflation low giving me a chance to get ahead.
 

Jagger100

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
7,623
As far as I'm concerned people attacking Amazon for underpaying that never acknowledged they were giving benefits have zero right to complain. Some of those people were probably working for the benefits. They have a partner the is earning reasonable cash w/o benefits, the Amazon worker brought in the benefits to the family. Your ignorance in attacking Amazon screwed those people royally.

Utopians looking for Universal income by abusing he minimum wage concept likely couldn't give a shit. This is all win for them.
 

ScottSummers79

Weaksauce
Joined
Jun 6, 2017
Messages
70
If a union gets into amazon.....all the workers will pay union dues and make even less.

And soon enough they'll put them into bankruptcy like K-Mart, to be bought-up/merged with something like Sears, only to return to shutting everything down within a decade.
 

Laowai

Gawd
Joined
Aug 9, 2018
Messages
534
Well, that was some PR stunt by Amazon... Now that the cat is out the bag, I hope the media pressure make them review their decision(s).
In the end, employees need to make more money or fire has to rain on bezos for not been transparent and trying to gather as much fame and PR as possible with a bad decision for workers.
Why should employees make more money? Just because?
There's been a pretty big push by certain elements who are seemingly oblivious to simple economics to raise the minimum wage to $15.00. He caved before he was forced to.
The liklihood that it would hurt some employees was always very high.
You don't get something for nothing.

I'd be pretty damn pissed if it were me but nobody is forced to work for them at $15/hr or $10/hr.

 

d8lock

Gawd
Joined
Feb 12, 2012
Messages
684
I know this sucks and all, but the world needs ditch diggers too. Can't wait till all the stuff I ordered off Amazon over the weekend arrives.
 

Laowai

Gawd
Joined
Aug 9, 2018
Messages
534
I know this sucks and all, but the world needs ditch diggers too. Can't wait till all the stuff I ordered off Amazon over the weekend arrives.
That's actually a huge problem with the minimum wage nonsense. It often prices unskilled labor right out of the market. Why hire 10 guys to dig for fair wages when you can just hire one and a Bobcat (or whatever the hell you dig ditches with).
Instead of 10 people having jobs, one is employed.
Push this 15/hour crap and unemployment will rise. History shows us this is true and there is no reason to think this time would be any different.
 

mesyn191

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 28, 2004
Messages
2,983
The biggest question is what percentage is winning and who is losing.... like 80% getting a bonus over the avg 15/hrs then its just PR coverup.
True. Generally Amazon isn't known for treating its min. wage workers well nor giving them bonuses and such. They're generally explicitly treated like disposable trash so while we don't have exact numbers I don't think its unreasonable to assume its a big win overall for most of these workers.

You get it and bang you think your making more money, but then your rent goes up your cost of food goes up and everything you buy in normal life goes up.
This has already been happening for decades despite wage stagnation.

If wages don't go up over time inflation won't stop and in effect everyone who works for a living and hasn't been getting a CoLA has been getting pay cuts for decades now. Amazon is just effectively reversing that with this policy of theirs for their workers which will give them similar buying power to what min. wage workers had decades ago.

The prices of things when min wage was lower is now the same price with the min wage higher
It doesn't work like this except in the relatively extreme long run (ie. a decade or more). Wage inflation only effects prices of goods and services slowly because wages aren't the majority of the costs involved with providing those goods/services. Even in food service for instance, which has relatively high labor costs, labor is only 25-35% of total costs.

I never complained about min wage because it kept inflation low giving me a chance to get ahead.
A low min. wage can't and won't suppress inflation. Even if you add in a bunch of the near min. wage workers (ie. ~$10/hr or less) the percentage of GDP they constitute is too low to effect the inflation of the dollar much.

Its economic policy by the govt., as well as the perceived value and trustworthiness of a govt's bonds (debt), that primarily effect the rate of inflation.

Why hire 10 guys to dig for fair wages when you can just hire one and a Bobcat
This is already how it is right now and has been since at least the early 2000's in construction.

Also as far as I can tell Amazon hasn't said they're laying off anyone with this wage raise.

There have also been studies on the effects of employment on the areas and countries that have raised their min. wage drastically, to $15 or more in some cases, and unemployment didn't skyrocket or increase all that much either.
 
Top