Amazon Hiring 100,000 New Workers to Cope with Surge in Coronavirus Crisis Orders
Online retailer reports skyrocketing sales as people stay home and avoid public places
Amazon is hiring 100,000 new workers in the United States, and thousands more worldwide, as the online retailer battles to cope with the huge surge in orders amid the coronavirus crisis.
The retail giant is reporting soaring online orders as people all over the world are staying home and avoiding public places to ride out the global pandemic.
A steep increase of orders for this weekend is putting its operations under unprecedented pressure, according to the Seattle-based company.
Shoppers are now being warned that it could take longer than normal to receive packages as staff work around the clock to fulfill orders.
It has now sold out of many everyday household items such as cleaning supplies and is working on solutions to get more in stock.
"We are seeing a significant increase in demand, which means our labor needs are unprecedented for this time of year," Dave Clark, the head of Amazon's warehouse and delivery network, says.
The online retailer said it will also temporarily raise pay for workers.
Hourly employees will receive an extra $2 an hour through the end of April.
That includes workers at its warehouses, delivery centers, and Whole Foods grocery stores – all of whom make at least $15 an hour.
Employees in the United Kingdom and other European countries will get a similar raise.
Last week, Amazon tweaked its time-off policy for hourly workers, telling them they could take as much time off as they wanted in March.
Although, they would only be paid if they had earned time off.
The company also said it would pay hourly workers for up to two weeks if they contracted the virus or needed to be quarantined.
The new job openings are for a mix of full-time and part-time positions.
Positions mostly include delivery drivers and warehouse workers, who pack and ship orders to shoppers.
As the coronavirus continues to spread, many panicked shoppers are stocking up on supplies at an alarming rate to possibly get them through days or weeks of being holed up indoors, according to Fox News.
The surge in demand for everyday products is prompting shortages of critical items and leaving grocery store shelves unusually empty.
Videos and images shoppers hoarding soap, toilet paper, and other essential goods have flooded social media as officials continue to warn to stay equipped with the basics.
The items most in demand are hand sanitizers, long-life food, toilet paper, water, and cleaning supplies.