Amazon is on a hiring spree, looking to keep up with the customer demand amidst the coronavirus pandemic, as well as to help those already employed by the company to fulfill orders for essential products.
A little under a month ago, the e-commerce giant announced 100,000 new jobs that have since been filled. Now Amazon is looking to add 75,000 more new employees, while also increasing hourly pay for employees by $2/hour in the U.S. (C$2/hour in Canada and €2/hour in many EU countries), the company said in a blog post.
The company is also looking out for partners, such as its delivery drivers, and seasonal associates who are going through a hard time during the pandemic by establishing a $25 million relief fund.
“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 and we welcome anyone out of work to join us at Amazon until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back,” Amazon said. “We’ll continue to invest in safety, pay, and benefits for our teams who are playing an invaluable role in getting items to communities around the world.”
However, Amazon has faced criticism during the pandemic, most recently firing two employees who spoke out against the conditions at its warehouses as the virus continues its rampage across the U.S.
According to the Washington Post, workers in at least 74 warehouses and delivery facilities across the country have been infected, prompting some warehouse workers to stage protests.
Amazon spokesperson Drew Herdener said that the employees were fired for “repeatedly violating internal policies,” which does not allow employees to “publicly disparage or misrepresent the company.”
“We support every employee’s right to criticize their employer’s working conditions, but that does not come with blanket immunity against any and all internal policies,” Herdener said.