Amazon is rolling out raises to more than 500,000 of its hourly workers a few months early, spending $1 billion on pay bumps designed to juice hiring at the company’s fast-growing logistics division.
The raises, which range from 50 cents to $3 an hour for most workers, are normally part of an annual pay review in the fall but will instead take effect in May and June, Darcie Henry, a vice president in Amazon’s human-resources group, said in a note posted to Amazon’s corporate blog. Henry said the company was hiring for “tens of thousands of jobs” across its logistics operations in the United States.
The hiring spree coincides with a rapid expansion of the company’s warehousing and distribution unit to deal with the pandemic-fueled surge in online orders and cut delivery times.
It also follows Amazon’s defeat of a union drive to organize an Alabama warehouse. Some union organizers made the case that while Amazon’s $15-an-hour starting wage was lucrative compared to cashier jobs, it wasn’t as favorable for the logistics industry. Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos told shareholders after the lopsided union election that the company would work “to do a better job for employees.”
Amazon warehouse workers around the country have reported being asked to work mandatory overtime in recent weeks, potentially a sign Amazon is having trouble filling positions to meet demand. The company is also offering employees in some warehouses $500 bonuses if they refer friends and family members who accept jobs at Amazon.
The Seattle Times business staff contributed to this report.