For the retail giant, this is the second hiring campaign it has enacted since the coronavirus outbreak first hit US shores in February. Last month, Amazon said it would hire 100,000 additional warehouse and delivery workers across the country.
“We continue to see increased demand as our teams support their communities, and are going to continue to hire, creating an additional 75,000 jobs to help serve customers during this unprecedented time,” the company said according to CNBC.
Amazon has also raised employees’ hourly pay and doubled overtime pay for warehouse workers. Through the end of April, warehouse and delivery workers can earn an additional $2 per hour. Additionally, the company said it will continue investing in pay increases and safety benefits for employees. The company previously said it expected to spend $350 million on pay increases. Now Amazon estimates it will spend more than $500 million on those efforts.
Despite the good news, Amazon has gotten a significant amount of backlash for the way it’s treating employees during the crisis. Last week, a leaked internal memo showed executives discussing a plan to smear warehouse employee Christian Smalls, who was fired after organizing a walkout at a Staten Island distribution warehouse due to a lack of safety equipment.
Additionally, during a segment on HBO’s Last Week Tonight, John Oliver said that while Amazon has changed its policy to give essential workers paid sick leave if they feel sick or are infected with COVI-19, the change only came after 14 state attorney generals sent the company a letter saying their initial policy was “inadequate to protect public health.”
In response to the backlash, Amazon announced last week that it will provide face masks to every worker and conduct temperature checks for every worker at every warehouse location in the US and Europe.