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Amazon offers workers $5,000 to quit, but it’s not crazy.

Stashed in: Amazon, Jeff Bezos, Career

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On first hearing, it sounds almost insane – every year, Amazon (AMZN) offers workers in its distribution warehouses up to $5,000 to quit. Why would a company ask employees to quit and why in the world would it pay them to do so?

But like many of the unusual practices adopted under Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the pay-to-quit policy is grounded in data. The goal of the offer is to encourage unmotivated and disaffected employees to leave on their own, while making employees who reject the offer feel more dedicated to the job.

This is a great idea, I think.  I know other businesses that would like to get on this bandwagon.  If one is in a sweet position, just riding it out, it would probably be pretty stupid to take this 5K and leave, but if you're truly unhappy in your position, this might be what will give you the motivation to break free, and move on to endeavors that are more satisfying to you.  Also, if one is a big negative complainer, this could be a "put up or shut up" message.

My guess is a fulfillment center worker doesn't have a ton of options for employment elsewhere so the $5,000 offer is as relevant as same day drone delivery. 

Oh hey:  

Coming to Germany in 2014: More strikes at Amazon

Summary: Ver.di, the labor union behind the strikes, plans to expand industrial action at the company in 2014. But are they having an effect?

In short, the strikes are about wages: Amazon classifies their employees in Germany as 'logistics' workers, who generally receive lower pay than those classified as 'retail' employees. Strikers are demanding that Amazon categorize them as retail employees, so that they can get higher wages and collective bargaining rights. (Amazon employees start at around €9.50 per hour, where 'retail' employees might start at between €10 and 13 per hour, depending on the region.)

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