In the midst of unknown job security during the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon is taking action to ensure service continues to meet demands.
Amazon announced its opening 100,000 new full and part-time positions across the US in its fulfillment centers and delivery networks in order for customers to continue to receive critical supplies at their doorsteps as the outbreak of the coronavirus continues.
Amazon said the move is designed to support communities that might not have services available with local businesses forced to close due to social distancing and stopping the spread of coronavirus.
“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. 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 said in a blog post.
In order to drive in new talent, Amazon pledged to add $2 to its minimum $15 per hour rate to US workers through April. Similar measures will be taken in Canada, United Kingdom, and across Europe, the company said.
Amazon said its commitment to increase pay through the end of April will total more than $350 million.
“Health and safety are a top priority with all of our roles and sites. We continue to consult with medical and health experts, and take all recommended precautions in our buildings and stores to keep people healthy,” the company said. “We’ve taken measures to promote social distancing in the workplace and taken on enhanced and frequent cleaning, to name just a few.”
It’s encouraging news despite many local businesses fearing the worst after being forced to close stores due to the outbreak.
Bookstores across the US are bracing for the worst as the coronavirus crisis continues. Many have closed shop and are now offering pick-up services or delivery.
Manhattan bookseller McNally Jackson, a chic little bookstore located in Soho, said in a statement on Twitter that the coronavirus pandemic is the “most difficult moment the bookstore has ever faced.”
The store was forced to temporarily lay off employees until the store is able to reopen.
“We are maintaining staff health insurance for the time being so there is no disruption for medical coverage, and working to extend this coverage as long as we can,” the store said in a statement. “The employees should also qualify for unemployment benefits as the states has accelerated that process.
“These layoffs are temporary. We intend to hire back our employees as soon as we can.”
The number of cases in New York took a big spike overnight. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that the number of positive coronavirus tests rose to 1,375, a 432 overnight rise. There are no plans to quarantine New York City as of now, but a decision is expected to be made within 48 hours, according to NBC News.
“Be prepared right now for the possibility of a shelter in place order,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The decision will be made in the next 48 hours.”