- Amazon.com Inc said on Monday it plans to recruit 75,000 more employees for positions ranging from warehouse workers to delivery drivers.
Amazon.com Inc said on Monday it plans to recruit 75,000 more employees for positions ranging from warehouse workers to delivery drivers as the coronavirus outbreak has kept Americans trapped in their homes and demand for online orders has surged.
With customers clearing shelves out for fear of quarantines or drug shortages, retailers are scrambling to keep food and hygienic products in stock and have staff on hand for work or distribution in-store.
The e-commerce giant now plans to spend more than $500 million globally to increase the workers’ salaries during the pandemic, it said, up from a previous estimate of $350 million.
The new hiring is in addition to the 100,000 warehouses and distribution staff it recently employed to cope with the demand surge, the latest recruiting is in addition to.
“We know that many people have been economically affected as jobs in places such as retail, restaurants, and travel are lost or furloughed as part of this crisis and we welcome those out of work to join us at Amazon before things get back to normal and their past employer can get them back,” the company said in a blog post.
In addition to the wage rises, Amazon has made numerous changes to benefits. The organization has allowed staff to take unlimited unpaid time off and offers two weeks’ paid leave to workers who have tested the virus positively or are in quarantine.
While it continues to recruit more staff, Amazon has also increased the hourly wage for warehouse workers to contractors and reduced the overtime pay. Warehouse and logistics staff will receive an extra $2 an hour in the U.S., 2 pounds an hour in the U.K., and about 2 euros an hour in several EU countries by the end of April. At present, Amazon is paying $15 an hour or more for warehouse and distribution workers in some parts of the US.
Amazon said that it expects warehouse and distribution staff to continue investing in wage rises, benefits, and safety upgrades. The organization had previously expected to spend $350 million on wage raises, but now it expects that it would invest more than $500 million on those efforts.
Despite wage rises and improvements in benefits, Amazon staff at least three facilities staged demonstrations calling on the organization to better protect employees amid the coronavirus outbreak. Among other complaints, a dozen staff told CNBC they felt Amazon wanted to give paid time off to employees.
Amid the coronavirus epidemic, the organization faced increased competition from customers on several fronts.
Services such as Prime Now and the Amazon Fresh grocery delivery service announced restricted availability for several days with shoppers stocking up online, or telling shoppers that they could not deliver. Amazon announced on Sunday that it will ask new grocery delivery customers to enter a waiting list and shorten the hours of certain Whole Foods stores to the public so workers can meet online orders more quickly.
Meanwhile, Amazon’s online marketplace has struggled to hold products in stock. Amazon announced last month that it will continue to prioritize household products and medical supplies at its distribution centers.