Amazon announced this week that it will end an exploitative tipping practice that counts customer tips towards a driver’s base pay. The e-commerce giant says that drivers will now receive 100 percent of all tips as opposed to those tips going at least partially to Jeff Bezos’ bottom line.
According to a report from The Verge, Amazon announced that it will stop counting tip towards Amazon Flex delivery drivers’ base pay. Breitbart News reported on Amazon’s controversial tipping policy in February, highlighting the concept of a “tipped wage.” By counting a driver’s tips towards their base pay, companies like Amazon Flex and DoorDash were getting away with paying their employees less. It also defied the end customers’ common-sense expectation that their tip would go to the driver who provided the service.
Now, Amazon says they are abandoning their “tipped wage” policy for Amazon Flex drivers. As a part of the new policy, Amazon will pay the entire base pay for its employees. Drivers will receive 100 percent of their tips in addition to their base pay.
Amazon spokesperson Rena Lunak said in a brief comment that Amazon drivers will now receive tips in addition to their base pay of at least $15 per hour. “Amazon will always contribute at least $15 per scheduled hour to driver pay, and often more, based on location and demand,” Lunak said. “As always, for deliveries with tipping opportunities, drivers will receive 100% of the tips.” The difference now is that the tips will be in addition to that base pay, instead of being part of it. The new payment policy is set to start immediately, the company confirmed.
Breitbart News reported last week that DoorDash was still withholding tips from their drivers. DoorDash executives claimed in July that they would their policy on driver pay.
One former DoorDash delivery driver expressed concern about the state of services like Uber, DoorDash, and GrubHub, which have immense power to exploit their low-income workers. “I use caviar on a regular and make an average of 25 dollars an hour per delivery time and tips are included on top of base pay,” the former driver said. “I’m worried they’ll do the same with Caviar if DoorDash successfully acquires it.”
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