Amazon will not pay most US warehouse workers to leave their jobs this year. According The information, the e-commerce giant has paused its “pay-to-quit” program for most of its workers for 2022, and it’s unclear if it will be reinstated. The publication obtained a copy of Amazon’s message to its employees, which was then verified by a company spokesperson. Amazon typically pays its warehouse workers up to $5,000 to leave their jobs after peak seasons such as holidays as a way to reduce its workforce in the ensuing downturn.
Jeff Bezos also told shareholders in a newsletter that it is a way to give employees an outlet if they are no longer happy working for Amazon. The company would normally make “The Offer”, as it is also called, at the end of the first quarter of the year. For 2022, however, he told employees that only workers who have graduated from Amazon’s Career Choice training program will be eligible for the pay. They are also only eligible within 90 days of graduation. Amazon pays tuition reimbursements to workers who are part of the Career Choice program, which expands in January to include GEDs, English as a Second Language (ESL) certificates and bachelor’s degrees. It only used to cover technical skill certificates and associate degrees.
Karen Riley Sawyer, a company representative, confirmed the changes to the pay-to-quit program, saying The information which is currently only available “to Career Choice graduates to support their transition to a new career, should they choose to leverage their new certifications”. While Sawyer didn’t say why the scope of the program was reduced, it could be because vaccine mandates and rising infection rates caused by the spread of the Omicron variant are making it harder for Amazon to find suitable personnel. Earlier this month, Motherboard reported that more than 1,800 workers at a single Amazon facility in New York were on leave due to COVID. A source also told The information that the warehouse had been experiencing severe staff shortages in recent months.
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