Amazon Will Hire 100k Warehouse Workers Amid Pandemic-Driven Surge in Online Shopping
Amazon is planning to hire an additional 100,000 warehouse workers to keep up with the volume of orders placed by customers amid a global COVID-19 outbreak.
Amazon said Monday it will spend more than $350 million to increase wages for workers in fulfillment centers, delivery operations, and retail stores. The wage increases will be approximately $2 per hour in the U.S., £2 per hour in the U.K., and approximately €2 per hour in other European countries.
"Getting a priority item to your doorstep is vital as communities practice social-distancing, particularly for the elderly and others with underlying health issues," said Dave Clark, head of Amazon's worldwide operations team, in a blog post. "We are seeing a significant increase in demand, which means our labor needs are unprecedented for this time of year."
The plans would grow Amazon's global workforce to nearly 900,000. The company said it had 798,000 workers around the globe in January, up 23 percent year-over-year.
Thousands of Americans are telecommuting and self-isolating to slow the spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that quickly escalated to a global pandemic. Amazon's Prime and Fresh delivery services are grappling with high demand and inventory issues, as warehouse workers report increased order volumes.
"We also 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," Clark said in the blog post. "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 is out of stock on a number of household staples and popular items, according to the company's COVID-19 response page.
"You will also notice that some of our delivery promises are longer than usual," the site says. "We are working around the clock with our selling partners to ensure availability on all of our products, and bring on additional capacity to deliver all of your orders."
The Amazon Fresh website warns grocery deliveries "may be temporarily unavailable due to increased demand." Amazon Fresh did not have any delivery windows available in the Seattle area as of Monday morning.
Amazon expanded its sick policy to provide two weeks of paid time off to all employees last week and advised telecommuting for any workers who can. That isn't a possibility for the warehouse workers and delivery drivers that power Amazon's e-commerce business, though.
Amazon launched a $25 million fund to help its network of independent delivery drivers, Amazon Flex workers, and seasonal employees deal with disruptions caused by the outbreak last week. The Amazon Relief Fund will provide grants equal to about two weeks' pay for workers who have the virus or are quarantined. Grants are also available to workers facing financial or other hardships.
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Every year has defining moments, but no one could have predicted the world changing and paradigm shifting developments that have taken place over the course of the past year. They include combatting COVID-19, working from home, waves of social unrest, emerging technologies and more.
Join us Wednesday, December 16th at 11:00 a.m. PT for the closing dot.LA Strategy Session of the year as we reflect on L.A.'s emerging tech trends, challenges and predictions for 2021.
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Mark Suster, Managing Partner at Upfront
Mark Suster, Managing Partner at Upfront<p><br>Mark Suster has been a managing partner at Upfront since 2007, where has led notable investments in companies including Bird, Invoca, Density, Nanit, and Maker Studios (acquired by Disney). He previously was the founder & CEO of two successful enterprise software companies, the most recent of which was sold to Salesforce.com, where Mark became VP of products. Prior to being a founder, Mark was a software developer at Accenture while living and worked in Europe, Japan and the U.S. Mark is a graduate of UCSD and has an MBA from the University of Chicago.</p>
Ben Bergman, dot.LA Senior Reporter
Ben Bergman, dot.LA Senior Reporter<p>Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior finance reporter. Previously he was a senior reporter/host at KPCC, a producer at Gimlet Media and NPR and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times. Bergman was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. He enjoys skiing, playing poker and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.</p>
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