SEATTLE, WA – This week Amazon’s (AMZN) new minimum wage of $15 an hour went into effect for over 200,000 of its U.S. employees, but reactions have been mixed. Some say that the retailer has curtailed overall compensation by ending stock grants and other benefits, and many are not happy that all take home pay is now only redeemable as Prime Now credit.
In a move to further promote its new service of one-hour delivery of goods in major metropolitan areas, the retail giant will credit employees’ Amazon Prime Now accounts instead of their regular paycheck. “We believe that the new structure benefits everyone in the Amazon family by bypassing their out-dated bank accounts and allowing them instant access to the myriad goods offered [in Prime Now],” explains spokesperson Allison McGill, “we’re streamlining the entire employee-customer experience.”
Not everyone is excited about the changes and Boredroom News has spoken to many about their situation. Larry Koblin, a floor manger at Amazon Fulfillment Center in El Paso, TX, is concerned that Prime Now services are not currently available in his area. “It’s be great and all to get P.F. Chang’s delivered right to my door,” says Mr. Koblin, “but the nearest one is probably in San Antonio, and that’s 500 miles away; my General Tso’s will be cold by the time it gets here.”
Ms. McGill assures that the company is addressing these issues. “As Amazon grows, so will it’s Prime Now footprint. It’s really only a matter of time that all employees will be able to use their paycheck to purchase food and other necessary goods.”
Amazon has clarified that employees’ credits apply only to Prime Now services and are not redeemable for any other online or Whole Foods purchases.