Jeff Bezos writes to stakeholders, says Amazon's focus is to fight coronavirus and maintain jobs
Jeff Bezos has written a letter to the stakeholders, outlining Amazon's strategy for the better part of the year, or at least till the coronavirus pandemic ends. The letter talks of the work Amazon is putting in to fight COVID-19.
"One thing we’ve learned from the COVID-19 crisis is how important Amazon has become to our customers. We want you to know we take this responsibility seriously, and we’re proud of the work our teams are doing to help customers through this difficult time. Amazonians are working around the clock to get necessary supplies delivered directly to the doorsteps of people who need them. The demand we are seeing for essential products has been and remains high. But unlike a predictable holiday surge, this spike occurred with little warning, creating major challenges for our suppliers and delivery network. We quickly prioritised the stocking and delivery of essential household staples, medical supplies, and other critical products," said Bezos in the letter.
Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos
Amazon is acting aggressively to protect its customers from bad actors looking to exploit the crisis.
"We’ve removed over half a million offers from our stores due to COVID-based price gouging, and we’ve suspended more than 6,000 selling accounts globally for violating our fair-pricing policies. Amazon turned over information about sellers we suspect engaged in price gouging of products related to COVID-19 to 42 state attorneys general offices. To accelerate our response to price-gouging incidents, we created a special communication channel for state attorneys general to quickly and easily escalate consumer complaints to us," said Bezos.
Amazon also launched the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative, a programme to support customers working to bring more accurate diagnostic solutions to market for COVID-19. Better diagnostics help accelerate treatment and containment of the pandemic.
“We committed $20 million to accelerate this work and help our customers harness the cloud to tackle this challenge. While the programme was established in response to COVID-19, we also are looking toward the future, and we will fund diagnostic research projects that have the potential to blunt future infectious disease outbreaks,” he added.
Over the last decade, no company has created more jobs than Amazon. Amazon directly employs 840,000 workers worldwide, including over 590,000 in the US, 115,000 in Europe, and 95,000 in Asia. In total, Amazon, directly and indirectly, supports 2 million jobs in the US, including 680,000-plus jobs created by Amazon’s investments in areas like construction, logistics, and professional services, plus another 830,000 jobs created by small and medium-sized businesses selling on Amazon. Globally, the company supports nearly 4 million jobs.
Amazon’s jobs come with an industry-leading $15 minimum wage and comprehensive benefits. More than 40 million Americans—many making the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour—earn less than the lowest-paid Amazon associate. The company wants other big employers to join them by raising their own minimum pay rates, and continue to lobby for a $15 federal minimum wage.