Amazon is handing out pay raises and new benefits for its warehouse workers across the country. Amazon said its average starting wages are now $19 an hour, up from $18. Warehouse employees now earn between $16 and $26 an hour, depending on position and location.
Amazon’s new benefit, Anytime Pay, allows workers to access their pay instantly at any time during the month. The online retail giant is also seeking to advance its workers’ careers through the Amazon Intelligence Initiative, which will place 300,000 employees in a 12- to 14-month development program to place them in AWS engineering roles.
The news comes as someand as the company faces criticism about working conditions in its warehouses. A 2021 study showed that of other warehouses. in separate incidents this summer, prompting an investigation by the US Department of Labor.
Amazon earlier in September expressed condolences to the families of the deceased. “Each of these tragic incidents have affected our teams greatly, and we are providing resources for families and employees who need them,” Amazon spokesman Sam Stephenson said at the time. “Our investigations are ongoing and we’re cooperating with OSHA, which is conducting its own reviews of the events, as it often does in these situations.”
Amazon has said the increase in workplace injuries occurred in part due to the pandemic, which led the company to hire tens of thousands of additional workers. Injured warehouse workers have also complained ofand care covered by Amazon.
“We take the health and safety of our team seriously and, while we aren’t perfect, we don’t believe these few anecdotes represent the experience of our more than a million front-line employees,” Amazon previously said in a statement to CNET. “When a member of our team does have an issue, we work hard to help with their unique concerns, including issues with compensation, benefits or accommodations.”
In July, other Amazon warehouse employees, in Illinois, reportedly complained about the companyagainst Black employees in the workplace. Amazon said it “works hard to protect our employees from any form of discrimination.”
Amazon is alsoover concerns it made workers stay in unsafe conditions, following the deaths of six workers who were near St. Louis in December.
The company has additionally faced allegations ofaround COVID-19 and for warehouse workers.