Amazon is reportedly planing on hiring an additional 100,000 employees in the United States to help meet the increased demand caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus, which originated in China.
“Amazon plans to deploy the new workers to fuel e-commerce deliveries and is raising pay for these employees in the U.S. and Canada by $2 an hour through April,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “In the U.K., it will go up £2 an hour and approximately €2 an hour in many EU countries. Amazon currently pays $15 an hour as a starting wage to workers in its fulfillment centers around the U.S.”
“We are seeing a significant increase in demand, which means our labor needs are unprecedented for this time of year,” said Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of operations.
The increased demand comes as numerous businesses and schools have closed and major events cancelled in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“On Wednesday, Amazon expanded its sick-leave policy to include part-time warehouse workers and set up a relief fund, with an initial $25 million for delivery partners such as drivers and others affected by the outbreak,” The Journal added. “The company earlier eased its policy for unpaid time off, offering workers the option to take unlimited unpaid time off through the end of March without penalties.”
Amazon’s expansion comes after President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he had spoken to top business leaders across the country to make sure everyone was on the same page in terms of coordinating a response to the coronavirus.
Trump said that he spoke to the following leaders:
- Dave Clark, Whole Foods.
- Mark Clouse, CEO of Campbell Soup Company.
- Brian Cornell, CEO of Target.
- Randy Edeker, Chairman and CEO, President of Hy-Vee.
- Jeff Harmening, CEO of General Mills.
- Kevin Hourican, President and CEO of Sysco.
- Craig Jelinek, CEO of Costco.
- Todd Jones, CEO of Publix Super Markets.
- Donnie King, Tyson Foods.
- David MacLennan, Chairman and CEO of Cargill.
- Rodney McMullan, CEO, Chairman of Kroger.
- Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart.
- Todd Vasos, CEO of Dollar General Corporation.
- And Vivek Sankaran, President and CEO of Albertsons.
During the press conference Trump reassured the public that there was going to be plenty of supplies ready for people to purchase and that there was no need to hoard supplies.
“So these are all phenomenal companies. These are great companies. We had a long conversation with them. And they’ve — they’re going to work 24 hours around the clock keeping their store stocked,” Trump said. “I would like to say that people shouldn’t go out and buy. We’re going to all be great. We’re going to be so good. We’re going to do — what’s happened with the Fed is phenomenal news. What’s happening with all of these incredible companies is phenomenal news.”
“But you don’t have to buy so much. Take it easy. Just relax. People are going in and they’re buying more. I remember — I guess, during the conversation, Doug of Walmart said that they’re buying more than they buy at Christmas. Relax. We’re doing great. It all will pass,” Trump continued. “All of them are working hand-in-hand with the federal government, as well as the state and local leaders, to ensure food and essentials are constantly available. And they’ll do it. There’s no shortages. We have no shortages — other than people are buying anywhere from three to five times what they would normally buy. It’s going to be there for a long time.”
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