Amazon India offers ‘special recognition bonus’ to employees

Amazon India offers ‘special recognition bonus’ to employees
Photo Credit: Reuters
1 Dec, 2020

Ecommerce giant Amazon said it will offer a “special recognition bonus” of up to Rs 6,300 to its frontline employees in India for their efforts during the holiday season.  

Full-time India operations workers employed between October 16 and November 13 will qualify for a bonus of Rs 6,300, while part-time staffers will be eligible for Rs 3,150, Dave Clark, senior vice president of Amazon Worldwide Operations, wrote in a blog post.

The development comes amid an ongoing online campaign, dubbed Make Amazon Pay. Launched by an international coalition of its employees, the campaign demands better working conditions and pay for workers in the ecommerce firm’s warehouses.  

“As we head out of the festive season in India, we want to share our appreciation through another special recognition bonus, totaling more than $500 million globally for our frontline employees. Combined with other holiday pay incentives, in this quarter alone, we are investing over $750 million in additional pay for our frontline hourly workforce, on top of our industry-leading pay,” the blog post said.

The announcement takes the company’s total special bonuses and incentives expenditure to over $2.5 billion in 2020, Amazon said. The blog did not specify the share of Indian employees in the total.

According to market tracker RedSeer Consulting, Amazon recorded 34% gross merchandise value -- the total value of all goods sold -- during the festive season sales. 

Despite Covid-19-led financial constraints, Indian ecommerce firms drove a record $8.3 billion in order volumes during the festive season sales that began mid-October, RedSeer said in its annual post-sales report. The number marks a 65% increase over last year’s festive month, when online players raked in $5 billion in gross sales. This year, the sales hit $4.1 billion in the very first week. 

Earlier this year, the company announced a $1 billion investment plan for India and said it would create 1 crore jobs in the country by 2025. The jobs would be created across industries such as information technology, skill development, content creation, retail, logistics and manufacturing, the company said at the time.

It has made multiple changes in its operations to ensure a safe workplace for its on-ground workers with social distancing norms. From tweaks in policies, communication procedures, training, shared spaces and process flow to sanitisation across its fulfilment centres, sortation and delivery stations, Amazon India said it has ensured worker safety.