In light of President Donald Trump’s statement today that the coronavirus impact could extend well into the summer, Amazon is prepping to hire 100,000 new delivery and warehouse workers to keep up with demand.
The e-commerce giant is making the move to help keep up with e-commerce deliveries. It is spending $350 million to hike pay for employees in the U.S. and Canada by $2 an hour through April. Similar pay raises will be implemented internationally.
For small business workers grappling with layoffs or missed pay due to closures, the move could be beneficial. “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,” an Amazon spokesperson wrote in a blog post. “We want these people to know we welcome them on our teams until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back.”
At the same time, some insiders expressed concern that the huge uptick in deliveries could be a problem as the coronavirus continues to spread, with thousands of workers potentially being exposed. In related news today, Trump and the U.S. government encouraged people not to gather in groups of more than 10 people.
In a blog post shared Friday and updated throughout the weekend, the Seattle-based retailer wrote that it was not only experiencing delays in its Prime delivery service, but also running out of stock of household staples — including hand sanitizer and toilet paper — amid the spread of COVID-19.
“In particular, you will notice that we are currently out of stock on some popular brands and items, especially in household staples categories. You will also notice that some of our delivery promises are longer than usual,” read a post on Day One, Amazon’s official blog. “We are working around the clock with our selling partners to ensure availability of all of our products and to bring on additional capacity to deliver all of your orders.”
Like many companies, Amazon is also reportedly working through issues of the coronavirus spreading within its own ranks.