As Americans retreat to their homes to suffer the coronavirus pandemic, they are increasingly turning to Amazon to get basic necessities such as groceries, medicines and cleaning supplies.
To keep up with a “significant increase in demand”, Amazon is hiring an additional 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers in the US.
This unexpected surge in demand has prompted the online retailer to make plans to hire 100,000 additional warehouse employees.
The company will increase pay for US workers by $2 per hour through the end of April.
Those in the UK will see a £2 per hour increase, and Amazon will boost pay by approximately €2 per hour in many EU countries.
The company says the pay bump represents an investment of over $350 million across the US, Europe and Canada.
Amazon is looking to fill both full- and part-time positions, and it says it’s happy to take anyone who has lost their job in the hospitality, food service and travel industries as a part of this crisis.
“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,” Amazon wrote.
Workers said they fear that the company isn’t doing enough to protect the spread of the virus.
As far as keeping its employees safe, Amazon says it has “taken measures to promote social distancing in the workplace” and ramped up cleaning.
Amazon doesn’t have the best track record for keeping its employees safe, and according to MIT.
The virus can live on a cardboard delivery box for at least a day.
Amazon encourages employees who can work from home to do so.
All employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine will receive up to two weeks of pay.
Additional financial support may be available through the Amazon Relief Fund, which received an initial $25 million investment.
Although hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes are now available in facilities, some employees claim they are in short supply.
Protective masks are hard to come by, some say, and warehouses are not receiving any additional cleaning.