Amazon VP says warehouse workers get the exact same benefits as he does

Amazon HRSarah JacobsAmazon VP of HR John Olsen (pictured) calls the company’s benefits policy ‘egalitarian.’

On Wednesday, Amazon opened up 10 warehouses around the country to job candidates as part of a massive hiring effort.

It received a staggering 20,000 applications.

Business Insider visited the online retailer’s Robbinsville, New Jersey location and saw hundreds of people lined up and waiting to apply.

Speaking with some of the prospective candidates, we found that the company’s benefits package proved to be a major draw.

“We invest in benefits from day one,” VP of HR John Olsen told Business Insider the same day. “My benefits package is the same as a benefits package here at the fulfillment center. I think we’ve got an egalitarian process.”

Full-time Amazon employees receive healthcare, a 401(k), restricted stock options, and access to a career choice program that pre-pays or reimburses 95% of textbook costs, tuition, and fees for certificates and associate degrees.

Part-time employees get the same set of benefits, but receive healthcare after 90 days.

Amazon is also known to hire huge numbers of seasonal employees at a time. Reuters reported that seasonal Amazon employees are eligible for healthcare, but sites like the Huffington Post have documented the struggles of workers who join the seasonal rush through contractors.

According to Glassdoor, Amazon warehouse workers make around $US12 an hour. CNN reported that this rate is slightly below the national average for warehouse employees.

But for prospective part-time and full-time workers, the benefits make the opportunity attractive.

“Why not invest in my future?” Yami Rodriguez, one of the candidates at the Robbinsville event, tells Business Insider. “If they help with tuition, who’s to say I can’t move up in the company?”

“I think it’s an opportunity for people to have a good, excellent job but also have an opportunity for a future,” Olsen says.

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