With shoppers clearing out shelves in fear of quarantines or
product shortages, retailers are racing to keep food and
hygienic items in stock and have employees on hand for in-store
work or delivery.
Like Amazon, U.S. supermarket chains Albertsons, Kroger <KR.N>
and Raley's have sought new hires to staff busy sections and
fulfill online orders. They are turning to people in the
restaurant, travel and entertainment businesses who are suddenly
looking for work because of the coronavirus.
"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
Major shipper United Parcel Service Inc <UPS.N> said its
trucking and air deliveries were still on despite growing
government restrictions on commercial activities. It said Monday
it was meeting demand with its existing workforce.
The coronavirus, which has led to more than 7,100 deaths
globally and prompted mass lockdowns of people, has also led to
items being out of stock on Amazon and some deliveries taking
longer than usual.
Amazon's headcount fluctuates seasonally, recently peaking for
the holiday quarter at 798,000 full and part-time workers. It
was not immediately clear how many people Amazon would employ
after it hires 100,000 more.
To draw new employees, Amazon said it would add $2 to its
minimum $15 per hour to U.S. workers' wages through April. The
extra pay for hourly employees in North America and Europe is
expected to cost more than $350 million, Amazon said.
Meanwhile, other retailers facing long queues are making pitches
for talent, too.
It was not clear if there would be any impact on delivery
operations from new government restrictions. In the San
Francisco Bay Area on Monday, officials said people must stay at
home except for some essential purposes, such as work for
"businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or
services directly to residences."
An Amazon spokeswoman did not immediately return a request for
comment on the San Francisco order.
(Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru, Jeffrey Dastin in San
Francisco and Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Arun
Koyyur and Lisa Shumaker)
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