Amazon to employees: We’ll pay you to quit and haul packages

BERLIN, GERMANY - MARCH 20: A delivery man from a company contracted by Amazon prepares to unload packages on March 20, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon, which is racing to deliver packages faster, is turning to its employees with a proposition: Quit your job and we’ll help you start a business delivering Amazon packages.

The offer, announced Monday, comes as Amazon seeks to speed up its shipping time from two days to one for its Prime members. The company sees the new incentive as a way to get more packages delivered to shoppers’ doorsteps faster.

Amazon says it will cover up to $10,000 in startup costs for employees who are accepted into the program and leave their jobs. The company says it will also pay them three months’ worth of their salary. The offer is open to most part-time and full-time Amazon employees, including warehouse workers who pack and ship orders. Whole Foods employees are not eligible to receive the new incentives.

Seattle-based Inc. declined to say how many employees it expects to take them up on the offer.

The new employee incentive is part of a program Amazon started a year ago that lets anyone apply to launch an independent Amazon delivery business. It is part of the company’s plan to control more of its deliveries on its own, rather than rely on UPS, the post office and other carriers. Startup costs start at $10,000 and contractors that participate are able to lease blue vans with the Amazon smile logo stamped on the side.

Overall, more than 200 Amazon delivery businesses have been created since it launched the program last June, said John Felton, Amazon’s vice president of global delivery services.

One of them is run Milton Collier, a freight broker who started his business in Atlanta about eight months ago. Since then, it has grown to 120 employees with a fleet of 50 vans that can handle up to 200 delivery stops in a day. It has already been preparing for the one-day shipping switch by hiring more people.

“We’re ready,” says Collier.

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  • Germaine

    What?? They can’t even get a package to me in TWO days, now. I have even had a package lost. Yes, my package is now considered LOST. Ah, no big deal, right Amazon? Who cares about some HICK in Ionia County? It’s only money, right Bozos? I’d like to get a warehouse job with Amazon just so I can steal some stuff from their warehouse. See how they like it.

  • Old Bob

    I wish Amazon would go back to having USPS deliver their stuff. It would always get here when USPS was delivering it. Now that Amazon is delivering it, who knows. Maybe it gets here and maybe it doesn’t

    • Michael

      At least the new way a picture of the item sitting on my front doorstep gets uploaded to my amazon account. USPS never did that.

  • Keithen

    Amazon charges you to send an item back if THEY send you the incorrect item. Why should customers pay for their employees mistakes? Havent bought a thing from them in 2 years. I noticed they’re prices are no longer the cheapest either. Funny how they eliminate competition then increase price. Americans will regret supporting the destruction Amazon has done to retail.

    • Michael

      If you haven’t bought anything from Amazon in 2 years how do you know they charge you return shipping on wrong items?FYI they don’t. Unlike you I’ve done it recently.

      Nobody is ever “always” the cheapest. You still have to use your brain and price shop.

  • SteChatte

    Sounds like a Bozos Scam. Amazon gets a dedicated fleet of cheap labor who don’t qualify for benefits. If the so-called independent delivery companies (that have only one customer) fail, then oh well, Amazon will just dangle its $10,000 carrot to some more of its benefit-qualifying thralls to replace them. Exact same scam that the insurance companies like Aflac run by saturating the market with “independent” agents. Only 5% of them will ever make a living, but the other 95% still make the company money.

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