E-commerce and retail giant, Amazon Inc., announced Monday that it’s still looking to hire 75,000 people. This comes after the last four weeks saw the company bring on 100,000 new workers. The coronavirus pandemic has forced people to stay in their homes, which has translated into a skyrocketing demand for online shopping. In order to keep up with the flood of orders, Amazon has been hiring delivery drivers, warehouse workers and logistics workers who keep the packages moving.
This announcement comes despite the fact that many have been calling for Amazon to close its warehouses. Amazon employees and public officials have raised concerns over the safety threat that Amazon warehouses pose. There have been multiple cases of COVID-19 in the warehouses in over 15 hubs. The company has been blasted for failing to allow the space needed for social distancing and for not supplying protective gear or pandemic-level sensitization. Given that Amazon workers handle thousands of products a day, proper sensitization is vital for both employees and the public.
A Necessary Risk
Despite concerns, the country’s reliance on Amazon to deliver essential goods to homes prohibits the warehouses from shutting down right now. Amazon has said it will be sending out face masks to all locations in the U.S. and Europe and adding temperature checks.
A New Option for Those Who Are Unemployed
Unemployment is at a record high so there are many people willing to take on these jobs regardless of risk. To help incentivize possible workers, Amazon has also stated that they will be paying an extra $2 on top of its $15 minimum wage, for the month of April. The company projects that it will spend over $500 million globally to increase employee wages.
Amazon said in a statement, “We know many people have been economically impacted as jobs in areas like hospitality, restaurants and travel are lost or furloughed as part of this crisis and we welcome anyone out of work to join us at Amazon until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back.”