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Internal news: Amazon employees fear salary cuts

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Internal news: Amazon employees fear salary cuts

Chelsea Jia Feng/BI

Amazon employees are complaining about upcoming salary cuts, internal communications show. Amazon has a complex compensation system that includes many stock-based components. This means that actual compensation can differ greatly from forecasts.

This is a machine translation of an article from our US colleagues at Business Insider. It was automatically translated and checked by a real editor.

Some Amazon employee are complaining about future pay cuts, according to internal Slack messages viewed by Business Insider.

This is the time of year when Amazon employees get off their compensation experience. The company has a complex system for paying employees, so updates like this often cause internal debate.

Some employees recently posted on Slack that they had taken cuts of up to 20% of their expected total compensation.

Stock awards are an important part of Amazon employee pay, so actual compensation may vary from forecasts. This is especially true if the company’s shares fluctuate. This has been the case in recent years when the stock collapsed and then recovered.

Amazon usually bakes one 15% increase in share price every year when calculating future compensation. If the stock price instead increases by 100% during this period, actual compensation will exceed projections.

In some of the messages viewed by BI, Amazon employees wrote that their projected compensation for 2025 was lower than forecasts for 2024.

“I was surprised to see that my projected total compensation for 2025 in my 2024 PCS is about 10% lower than my projected total compensation for 2024 in my 2023 PCS. Why is that?,” one employee wrote in a Slack channel called “Pay Equity Discussion.”

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“PCS” refers to the personal payslips that Amazon employees receive.

An Amazon spokeswoman, Margaret Callahan, said there has been no company-wide shift in salary approach and that compensation is based on factors such as job type, location, level and performance.

Other Amazon employees complained on Slack about cuts of up to 20% in total compensation, although the messages did not specify whether the cuts were actual or planned.

A concerned employee shared his own salary forecasts with BI, which showed a decline in projected salaries between 2024 and 2025.

Business Insider cherry-picks anecdotes from a handful of employees to fit their pre-conceived narrative,” Callahan said in a statement.

“Due to the increase in Amazon’s share price last year (approximately 77%), many employees’ compensation in 2024 will be significantly higher than the amount the company has earmarked for them,” she added.

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