As labor unions intensify their efforts to unionize Amazon workers, the company is improving benefits to appease delivery drivers.
This week, Amazon launched two new benefits that empower its Delivery Service Partners (DSPs) — independent business owners and the backbone of its last-mile delivery network — to offer ‘best-in-class’ benefits for their drivers.
The first new benefit is a new academic program called Next Mile. This program provides drivers employed by participating DSPs with up to $5,250 per year to access more than 1,700 academic programs, including bachelor’s and associate degrees, skill certifications, and high school completion courses.
Amazon also announced the addition of a 401(k) plan to the suite of services available to DSPs and is providing DSPs an estimated $60 million over the first year to help these small business owners match employee contributions.
“Through the DSP program, small businesses around the world have generated over $26 billion in revenue for their companies since launching four years ago,” said Parisa Sadrzadeh, vice president of Amazon’s Worldwide Delivery Service Partner Program.
“We couldn’t have done that without DSPs and their incredible teams. We will continue to innovate with them and use our economies of scale and resources to help them provide best-in-class offerings to their employees.”
“Investing in our DSPs means that we are continuing to invest in communities nationwide. I can’t wait to see the future success stories of what these drivers achieve.”
Amazon Next Mile Program
The Next Mile program enables DSPs to support and invest in their drivers who want to build new skills to help them achieve their career aspirations.
The program is offered by InStride and was inspired by Amazon’s Career Choice program, which offers college tuition prepaid to more than 750,000 hourly Amazon employees.
Next Mile provides participating DSPs and their drivers access to technical training and upskilling opportunities to help them advance their careers.
DSPs and drivers will have access to skill-based programs, GEDs, or degree programs at educational institutions across the United States.
The program also provides access to curated career pathways to help participants identify educational programs and career options based on skills and interests.
Next Mile will be available to all participating DSPs and their teams starting in January 2023, with Amazon reimbursing DSPs for tuition expenses for all eligible drivers.
More than 70% of DSP drivers expressed that retirement savings are a critical benefit, which is why Amazon will now offer a 401(k) program to US-based DSPs and support owners in matching contributions for drivers.
Amazon will provide DSPs an estimated $60 million in the first year to help offset the costs for DSPs that match employee contributions to their teams’ retirement savings and reimburse 100% of the administrative costs through a leading provider of retirement savings benefits.
Amazon has invested over $7 billion worldwide over the past four years in safety technology, driver training programs, increases in the rates it pays DSPs, and program improvements so drivers can safely and seamlessly deliver to customers.
Amazon works with more than 3,500 DSPs worldwide that employ more than 275,000 drivers who deliver over 10 million customer packages every day.
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