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Amazon pay increase will affect nearly 1,000 employees locally

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By Zac Oakes

 

Amazon’s recently announced wage increase will affect around 1,000 employees at the company’s fulfillment center in Campbellsville, according to a company spokesperson. 

Amazon announced last week it was raising the minimum wage for hourly employees, including seasonal employees, to $15 an hour. The wage increase will apply to 750 full-time hourly employees and “hundreds” of seasonal associates at the Campbellsville facility, according to Ashley Robinson, a spokesperson for Amazon, via an email Monday afternoon. 

The changes are set to take effect Thursday, Nov. 1. 

Some employees already make $15 per hour or more, but it is unclear how many employees at the Campbellsville facility fall into that category. Robinson said “all employees” will see an increase in wages, seemingly implying that those who already make $15 per hour will see an increase of some kind. 

Reports have come out that Amazon will discontinue its restricted stock unit (RSU) program. An RSU is a right to receive a share of Amazon.com common stock after an employee has satisfied the vesting period, or a period of continued employment at Amazon. 

Robinson said the company received feedback from employees and the majority of hourly employees preferred “the predictability and immediacy” of cash (via a wage increase) to the RSUs. 

“We will be phasing out the RSU grant program for stock, which would vest in 2020 and 2021 for this group of employees, replacing it with a direct stock purchase plan before the end of 2019,” Robinson said. “The net effect of this change and the new higher cash compensation is significantly more total compensation for employees, without any vesting requirements, and with more predictability.”

Robinson said the company is still working out details with the situation and will be communicating the details to employees directly.

Many of the seasonal workers will begin working at Amazon soon as Christmas holiday shopping begins to go into full swing in November.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the company is excited for the change and he hopes other large companies will follow suit. 

“We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead,” Bezos, said in a statement. “We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.”

The Amazon Fulfillment Center is located on South Columbia Avenue in Campbellsville.