“From Faurecia to Amazon, it’s a huge difference in salary,” said Mr Richardson, who currently makes $ 15.55.
Heather Knox, an Amazon spokesperson, says workers in Bessemer are eligible for a pay raise every six months, and they received a $ 2 an hour bonus for the majority of last spring. The rating and profile full-time employee received $ 300 in holiday bonuses and $ 500 in June last year. The company also offers substantial reimbursement to employees who take classes in certain areas.
Some workers at the Bessemer facility, which opened as soon as the Covid-19 fell in price last March, considered the pay too worthwhile, especially the younger employees.
Roderick Crocton, 24, who previously earned $ 11.25 as an overnight stockpile at a local retail store. “At my old job, I live in my apartment, never have to go anywhere, pay the bills. I was able to go out and experience the city today. “
But other workers insist that wages at Amazon are not particularly high for the Birmingham area, even as the pandemic has undermined their employment options. An Amazon employee named Clint, a union advocate who declined to give his last name for fear of retaliation, said he made about $ 40,000 a year to install satellite dishes first. when the pandemic left him unemployed. He said that he earns his finances partly by living with his mother.
The Retail Workers Coalition says it represents employees at nearby warehouses, which pay wages between $ 18 and $ 21 an hour, including an ice cream facility and a grocery store not far from Amazon.
At a factory owned by the NFI Group, a Canadian bus manufacturer, about an hour east of Birmingham, the hourly wages for qualified workers ranged from $ 14.79 to 23, $ 31, according to the company.
A survey of about 100 workers at the NFI plant by Emily Erickson, a professor at the University of Alabama A&M, found that the average white worker earns about $ 3 an hour compared to black workers. A former employee who currently works for a regional labor group, Charles Croom, said this made it more difficult to get white workers involved in a union-organizing effort. (The company says all employees with the same job rank and term are paid the same.)