Amazon is hiring 75,000 more workers and spending $150 million more than anticipated. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, cities across the United States are on lockdown, encouraging more online purchases than ever since social distancing is being enforced. While companies like Amazon are thriving, the demand is much larger than what it ever could have ever expected.
On Monday, the tech giant said that it was hiring 100,000 new workers for its distribution centers, now expected to spend more than $500 million in pay increases compared to the $350 million ut originally planned for. While the company is working around the clock to keep essential items in stock for their customers, it's also working just as hard to keep work environments as safe as possible for their employees after a few have tested positive for COVID-19.
"Our top concern is ensuring the health and safety of our employees. We made over 150 process updates to help protect employees — from enhanced cleaning and social distancing measures to piloting new efforts like using disinfectant fog in our New York fulfillment center," the company wrote in a blog according to CNN. There have been reported cases in their Washington, California ad New York facilities, forcing their company to shutdown briefly for deep cleaning.
While Amazon has made it a priority to provide customers with items they need, employees don't seem as thrilled to be working as hard while putting themselves at risk, therefore protesting. There have been company walkouts after Amazon made the decision to keep warehouses open. Earlier this month, the online retail giant announced that they would be increasing temperature checks for their employees as another way to ensure everyone's safety. But that doesn't seem to ease those who work there, and as a result, employees are getting fired for criticizing 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," an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider. "We terminated these employees for repeatedly violating internal policies." Despite them losing employees during such a critical time, they're able to hire thousands more to meet demands.
In early March, the company announced it would be putting essential items at the top of its list for the next several weeks, leaving everything else to be delivered weeks after purchase dates. Even Prime members with two day shipping would still have to wait more than 48 hours to receive non-essential items.