Amazon announced that it was raising minimum wage for all employees to $15 per hour earlier this week, but The Guardian reported that the increase comes with a catch that could end up costing some employees in the long run.
The $15 minimum wage wasn’t just a straight wage increase–it was a trade off. In exchange for increasing the minimum amount employees can earn, Amazon also took away incentive pay and stock option awards, which are extremely valuable at a company like Amazon.
“This is basically a stealth tax by the employer on its own wage increase,” said Tim Roache, general secretary of the British trade union GMB, according to The Guardian. “If Jeff Bezos — the richest man in the world — really wants to give hardworking staff a pay raise, he should let them keep their share options as well as increasing their hourly rate.” . . .
According to The Guardian, warehouse workers previously got an Amazon share worth nearly $2,000 at the end of each year, and an additional share at the end of every five-year period of employment. Employees could also earn up to 8 percent of their monthly income by way of incentive bonuses. . .
An employee earning $15.25 an hour who has worked for Amazon for more than three years in Arizona crunched the numbers. Although he is getting a $1 an hour raise, which would equate to as much as $2,080 in additional pay a year, he said he could have earned a few thousands of dollars more from the incentive programs. “Amazon isn’t giving its employees a raise, they’re taking money from us,” he told Yahoo Finance. “It only looks good if folks don’t know the truth.”
(Read more from “Here’s How Amazon’s $15 Minimum Wage Could Cause Some Employees to Earn Less” HERE)