Coronavirus: Amazon says its top concern is ensuring the health and safety of its employees
As COVID-19 continues to spread, online shopping has increased, particularly for essential goods. To address this need and help ensure the safety of its employees and associates, global ecommerce major Amazon has adjusted its logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third-party seller processes to prioritise stocking and delivering higher-priority items. This will result in some of its delivery promises being longer than usual.
Mike Pence, VP of Amazon, said in a statement that Amazon’s top concern is ensuring the health and safety of its employees. They have made over 150 process updates to help protect employees—from enhanced cleaning and social distancing measures to piloting new efforts like using disinfectant fogs in their fulfillment center.
The company has distributed personal protective gear such as masks for its employees, and has implemented temperature checks across its operations worldwide. The company is also working on building scalable testing for coronavirus.
They have filled 100,000 new jobs announced in March, and are adding 75,000 more to help meet customer demand and assist existing employees fulfilling orders for essential products.
The company has increased pay for hourly employees by $2 per hour in the US and countries like Canada and the continent of Europe (in their currencies Canadian$2 and Euro €2).
The company doubled the regular hourly base pay for every overtime hour worked, and is offering extra time off with full pay for those diagnosed with COVID-19. It has also established a $25 million relief fund for partners (delivery drivers) and seasonal associates who face financial hardship or quarantine.
Amazon is increasing capacity for grocery delivery from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market as quickly as possible.
It has enhanced cleaning at all Whole Foods Market stores, and is now open one hour early for customers who are over 60 years old in the US (70+ years old in the UK). Customers ordering delivery from Prime Now, Amazon Fresh, and Whole Foods Market can select "unattended delivery" during checkout if they prefer not to come into contact with others.
“We’re focusing on high-priority items to ensure the fastest delivery of household staples, medical supplies, and other high demand products coming into our fulfillment centers.We’re vigorously combating price gouging to help protect customers, help ensure fair pricing, and combat those seeking to profit off the COVID-19 crisis,” the company said in a statement.
It has also enabled Amazon and Alexa devices to help keep customers stay connected and informed.