Amazon to begin offering paid time off to delivery employees

Amazon to begin offering paid time off to delivery employees
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Amazon is offering paid time off to delivery employees starting Monday after workers pushed for the benefits for the past few months.

The Chicago-based Amazon employee group DCH1 Amazonians United posted an internal “manager update” that said paid time leave would be offered to “all of our regular part-time and seasonal employees in the United States.” The update was dated with Friday’s date.

The manager update indicates that these workers can accrue paid time off retroactively to March 1. 

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“We look forward to sharing additional details in the coming week,” the update reads. 

The announcement comes after the company experienced months of pressure after workers realized they didn’t receive the same benefits laid out in the employee handbook. 

The realization launched a campaign for paid time off, starting with a group called Amazonians United Sacramento. More than 4,300 people signed a petition requesting the paid time off.

Amazon had said the employees did not receive the paid time off because they were part-time employees but reversed the policy as the company deals with increased demand during the coronavirus pandemic. The company said its choice was not in response to employee activist groups.

But that didn’t stop Amazonians United Sacramento from celebrating in a blog post, saying  “This victory is a testament to the power that Amazon workers have when we organize.”

In the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, Amazon has announced temporary pay raises to employees and vowed to hire 100,000 new employees. 

“Amazon has implemented a broad suite of new benefits changes for employees in our operations and logistics network throughout this unprecedented pandemic event including an additional $2 per hour, double time for overtime and paid time off (PTO) benefits for regular part-time and seasonal employees,” a company official told BuzzFeed News

More than 1,500 workers have petitioned Amazon for hazard pay, paid sick leave and child care as several worry about their safety. A New York worker tested positive for COVID-19 last week, leading to the temporary closure of a New York warehouse.