The e-commerce giant announced, on Monday, that it plans to hire an additional 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers amid a surge in online orders due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Reports added that that the 100,000 new staff will be in the U.S., which is getting hit hard as the infection rate increases rapidly.
Amazon, currently, pays $US15 per hour or more in some areas of the U.S. for warehouse and delivery jobs. It stated that it would raise this by $2 per hour until the end of April.
Amazon said it wants to help people that have lost their jobs at other firms as a result of business closures due to government restrictions. It stated:
“We want those people to know we welcome them on our teams until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back.”
The concern is mounting among company employees who said they fear that the firm isn’t doing enough to protect the spread of the virus within its hundreds of fulfillment centers, sorting centers, and delivery stations around the country.
According to reports 1,500 workers have already signed a petition demanding a time-and-a-half ‘hazard pay’ increase.
The demands also included paid sick leave regardless of diagnosis, paid childcare, a reprieve from productivity-based performance penalties and the closure of any facility where a worker is infected.
Many workers are choosing to stay at home, which has put additional pressure on the retailer to keep up with orders.
Amazon defended its position, stating:
“We are going to great lengths to keep the buildings extremely clean and help employees practice important precautions such as social distancing and other measures.”
As financial markets meltdown panic and social media-driven hysteria have accelerated the desire to hoard non-perishable items and Amazon has warned about delays and items going out of stock.
Reports added that household stables are in particularly high demand and many items, such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer and hand soap, had run out over the weekend.
Sales for a specific large pack of 1,000-sheet toilet paper were up 944% over the same period in 2019.
Amazon added a notice to the top of its marketplace website this weekend, stating:
“Inventory and delivery may be temporarily unavailable due to increased demand. Confirm availability at checkout.”
The retailer has been working to avoid disruptions in its supply chain. However, some suppliers and factories in China and elsewhere remain offline.
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