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Amazon’s 750,000 U.S. Hourly Workers to Get Full College Tuition Coverage

750,000 U.S. hourly employees of Amazon are set to receive full college tuition coverage, Amazon shared last Thursday, augmenting its education benefit since employers are struggling to get workers in today’s tight labor market.

The retailer added that they will fund full college tuition for those who have worked with the company for at least 90 days.

As this takes effect in January, 400,000 workers hired since the beginning of the pandemic will be qualified, according to the company. High school diplomas, GEDs, and English as a Second Language (ESL) proficiency certifications will also be included in this new educational program, the company added. 

Although Amazon has experienced great growth becoming the second-largest private employer due to increasing demand for online shopping this pandemic, it also had issues involving worker conditions.

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Allegations such as failing to protect workers from COVID-19 were filed by the New York State. Warehouse conditions such as demanding quotes and algorithms were also raised by some workers.

They added it was hard to find time to use the restroom, so now some California lawmakers are targeting to limit production quotas in warehouses. 

Labor shortage has also been a problem by employers due to the pandemic. This caused the wages for low-paid workers to rise nationwide.

The nation’s pre-pandemic labor force hasn’t really been back to its size, and some businesses blame the unemployment benefits, which ended on Labor DAy, for this.

Before COVID there were 164.5 million workers compared to the 161.5 million working today. 

Amazon’s educational benefits were previously only available to employees who worked for at least a year.

They also had a $3,000 limit for every full-time employee, although it paid 95% of the costs, says the Century Foundation

Amazon has added that instead of the previous reimbursement method after the course completion, they will be paying the employee’s tuition in advance.

This is beneficial for employees struggling financially to enroll in an educational program. 

This new educational program from Amazon is comparable to its competing retailers like the nation’s largest employer, Walmart as well as Target.

Target offered free college education for its 340,000 U.S.-based employees as they announced last month. Walmart on the other hand created a similar program for its 1.5 million employees. 

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