USA: Amazon's pay increase will not apply to Flex workers, inc company comments

Author: Olivia Zaleski, Bloomberg, Published on: 1 November 2018

"Amazon Raises Minimum Pay for Everyone—Except These Workers", 1 Nov 2018

Amazon is raising the minimum wage for all U.S. employees to $15 an hour, a move that was seen as a response to political pressures. The company said it’s also giving raises to every operations and customer service employee in hourly jobs, including part-time and temps. Flex workers are not eligible because they’re contractors... Amazon advertises an hourly rate of $18 to $25 for Flex. But interviews with Flex drivers and research by financial analysts at Bernstein indicate net pay is much less when accounting for essential, on-the-job expenses; [a]ctual earnings are $5 or $11 an hour , depending on what a worker chooses to deduct, Bernstein found.  "Most of these Flex drivers do not realize that they’re making considerably less and working considerably more than what Amazon quotes in the app,” says David Vernon, an analyst at Bernstein. An Amazon spokeswoman disputed the findings by Bernstein [as] “flawed assumptions and anecdotes versus real data"... “[t]heir narrative does not accurately reflect the experience or earnings of the overwhelming majority of independent contractors who deliver packages with Amazon Flex.” She says the average driver makes more than $20 an hour but declined to provide an estimate that accounts for expenses.

[Also refers to Uber, Lyft]

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