A pile of Amazon boxes in front of the door of a house.

In 1 / 4 by which its revenues are anticipated to surpass $100 billion for the primary time, Amazon says it is going to spend $500m on a one-time Christmas bonus for its front-line workers.

The pay bump—which won’t be paid till January—comes amid plans for strike motion over the Black Friday procuring weekend, and rising requires unionisation.

Dave Clark, the ecommerce group’s head of operations, on Thursday stated full-time employees employed within the US from December 1 to December 31 would obtain $300. Half-time employees would get $150.

Staff within the UK will get bonuses of £300 or £150, respectively.

“This brings our complete spent on particular bonuses and incentives for our groups globally to over $2.5 billion in 2020,” Mr Clark wrote. “Together with a $500 million thanks bonus earlier this 12 months.”

The bonuses will apply to warehouse employees and supply drivers. Drivers working by way of Amazon Flex, the corporate’s gig work app, will obtain a $100 bonus supplied they work for no less than 20 hours in December.

Amazon’s announcement got here on the eve of Black Friday, the bumper procuring day throughout which US shoppers are anticipated to spend in extra of $10bn, in keeping with projections from Adobe, up virtually 40 per cent on final 12 months.

In the meantime, a coalition involving dozens of advocacy teams and employees unions is in search of to disrupt Amazon’s provide chain and logistics in protest over charges of pay, employee security and advantages. The teams additionally demand the corporate scale back its environmental affect, and pay extra in tax.

The UNI International Union stated there have been deliberate walkouts and associated motion in no less than 15 international locations the place the corporate operates or has suppliers, together with the US, UK and in Germany—the place the Verdi union stated it had organised a three-day strike at seven of Amazon’s distribution centres within the nation. It follows a strike in June organised by the identical group.

In all, organizers stated, the teams characterize about 40,000 Amazon employees globally, although it’s unclear what number of will take part.

“It is a collection of deceptive assertions by misinformed or self-interested teams who’re utilizing Amazon’s profile to additional their particular person causes,” Amazon stated in a press release.

“Amazon has a robust observe report of supporting our workers, our clients, and our communities, together with offering secure working situations, aggressive wages and nice advantages, main on local weather change with the Local weather Pledge dedication to be internet zero carbon by 2040, and paying billions of kilos in taxes globally.”

In April, Amazon briefly shut its six amenities in France after a court docket order demanded it solely deal with important objects throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The warehouses reopened in mid-Might after a number of weeks of negotiation between Amazon and unions.

Within the US, regardless of a number of makes an attempt, there isn’t a acknowledged Amazon union. The influential Retail, Wholesale and Division Retailer Union is in search of to characterize about 1,500 employees at a facility in Bessemer, Alabama. “When employees come collectively to kind a union, they win dignity and respect at work,” an internet site set as much as garner assist for the trouble reads.

“If Amazon employees in Alabama—a robust anti-union state—vote to kind a union, it will likely be a shot heard all over the world,” wrote Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders on Twitter. “If they will negotiate increased wages and higher working situations within the south, it is going to profit each employee in America.”

Citing leaked inside paperwork, a current Vice report alleged Amazon had employed Pinkerton, a personal intelligence company, to interact in union-busting efforts.

Amazon denied utilizing the company for that function, saying in a press release: “We now have enterprise partnerships with specialist firms for a lot of totally different causes—within the case of Pinkerton to safe high-value shipments in transit.

“We don’t use our companions to collect intelligence on warehouse employees. All actions we undertake are absolutely consistent with native legal guidelines and carried out with the total information and assist of native authorities.”

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