In response to “significant increase in demand” and “unprecedented” labor needs, Amazon said it plans to hire 100,000 full- and part-time positions in its fulfillment centers and delivery network.
In a blog post, Amazon said the new positions will help “meet the surge in demand from people relying on Amazon’s service during this stressful time, particularly those most vulnerable to being out in public.”
Like Chinese ecommerce platforms JD.com and Alibaba before it, Amazon is offering the temporary jobs to those who work in industries like hospitality and travel who have lost work or been furloughed during the coronavirus pandemic.
“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 blog post said.
In addition, Amazon said it will pay existing hourly workers in the U.S. an extra $2 per hour through April. Employees in the U.K. will receive an additional £2 per hour and employees in “many EU countries” will receive “approximately €2 per hour.” The ecommerce giant noted this comes with a price tag of roughly $350 million.
Historically, Amazon has prided itself on setting the bar for the retail industry, including its pivot to one-day delivery for Prime members last year. However, the recent increase in demand for online services has seen delivery times for some items balloon to multiple days—or even a week or more—for Prime members. Its grocery service Amazon Fresh has a disclaimer noting: “Inventory and delivery may be temporarily unavailable due to increased demand. Confirm availability at checkout.”
Meanwhile, the blog post noted Amazon is taking “all recommended precautions in our buildings and stores to keep [employees] healthy,” including social distancing and “enhanced and frequent cleaning.”