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 BezosTwitter mandates lawmakers, journalists to beef up passwords heading into election Hillicon Valley: DOJ indicts Chinese, Malaysian hackers accused of targeting over 100 organizations | GOP senators raise concerns over Oracle-TikTok deal | QAnon awareness jumps in new poll Amazon planning small delivery hubs in suburbs 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 Booker3 reasons why Biden is misreading the politics of court packing Bipartisan praise pours in after Ginsburg's death DHS opens probe into allegations at Georgia ICE facility MORE (D-N.J.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump faces backlash after not committing to peaceful transition of power Bernie Sanders: 'This is an election between Donald Trump and democracy' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump stokes fears over November election outcome MORE (I-Vt.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezKasie Hunt to host lead-in show for MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' Senators ask for removal of tariffs on EU food, wine, spirits: report VOA visa decision could hobble Venezuela coverage MORE (D-N.J.) and Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownMnuchin says he and Pelosi have agreed to restart coronavirus stimulus talks Harris faces pivotal moment with Supreme Court battle Remote work poses state tax challenges 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.