Amazon doubling overtime pay for warehouse workers

Amazon doubling overtime pay for warehouse workers
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Amazon said it will double the overtime pay for warehouse workers as the coronavirus pandemic has increased demand for online orders, the company announced Saturday. 

Hourly workers in Amazon’s U.S. warehouses who work over 40 hours will receive double, instead of 1.5-times, pay between March 15 and May 9, according to an announcement obtained by Reuters.

“My own time and thinking is now wholly focused on COVID-19 and on how Amazon can best play its role,” Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosWhy military leaders reacted so strongly to Trump's use of troops On The Money: Initial jobless claims drop to 1.9 million | IRS faces obstacles with remaining stimulus checks | Nearly half of Americans have lost income over coronavirus Hillicon Valley: Facebook begins labeling posts from state-controlled media | Chinese and Iranian hackers target Biden, Trump campaigns | Twitter CEO gives M to Kaepernick group MORE said in an online announcement.

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Bezos also said Amazon has ordered “millions” of face masks for its staff. But because of their short supply, masks are going to “highest-need facilities” like hospitals as directed by the government. 

“When our turn for masks comes, our first priority will be getting them in the hands of our employees and partners working to get essential products to people,” he said

The company announced a pay increase less than a week ago for hourly associates from $15 an hour to $17. It also said it will hire 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers in the U.S. as many practice social distancing by staying in their homes.

Amazon has also implemented unlimited unpaid time off designed for employees who fall ill during the pandemic. The first warehouse employee in the U.S. tested positive for COVID-19, leading for the entire facility to be shut down in New York.

Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerPaul clashes with Booker, Harris over anti-lynching bill Democratic senators kneel during moment of silence for George Floyd Rand Paul holding up quick passage of anti-lynching bill MORE (D-N.J.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump signs order removing environmental reviews for major projects | New Trump air rule will limit future pollution regulations, critics say | DNC climate group calls for larger federal investment on climate than Biden plan Google: Chinese and Iranian hackers targeting Biden, Trump campaigns MORE (I-Vt.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezGovernment watchdog: 'No evidence' Pompeo violated Hatch Act with Kansas trips No time to be selling arms to the Philippines Senate panel approves Trump nominee under investigation MORE (D-N.J.) and Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownDemocratic senators say police crackdowns undermine US response to Hong Kong Democratic senators kneel during moment of silence for George Floyd 21 senators urge Pentagon against military use to curb nationwide protests MORE (D-Ohio) sent a letter to Bezos on Friday, warning the company has not done enough to protect its workers during the pandemic. 

Menendez reportedly praised the double overtime pay initiative but said the company needed to do more, according to Reuters.