Amazon says it is raising wages and hiring more staff during the coronavirus outbreak

Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 2:22 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 2:22 pm

Global online retailer, Amazon, has announced it will raise the wages of its workers by at least £2 per hour, as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has placed extra pressure on the online delivery service.

As supermarkets and restaurants implement more stringent 'contactless' delivery strategies, and are asking customers to be upfront about their current condition, Amazon has begun hiring more staff to combat the rise in demand.

10,000 new jobs in the USA

The company announced that it is hiring 10,000 extra staff across its warehouses in the USA.

Amazon is investing nearly £285 million to keep up with online delivery demand, hiring new employees in the US, and raising the wages of current workers.

Amazon's senior vice president of worldwide operations Dave Clark said in a blog post, "We want those people to know we welcome them on our teams until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back."

Amazon has not said whether it aims to hire more staff in the UK yet.

Unemployment rates expected to rise

This news comes after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a speech last night (16 Mar), urging people to work from home if they can, and avoid going to social places, such as pubs, cinemas, and theatres.

It is currently unclear how badly this will affect the economy, but many from the hospitality sector have expressed that coronavirus poses an "existential threat" to the industry.

Chief executive of UK Hospitality, Kate Nichols, said, “The government has effectively shut the hospitality industry without any support, and this announcement will lead to thousands of businesses closing their doors for good, and hundreds of thousands of job losses.”

According to The Guardian, unless the government can issue financial security to pubs, restaurants, and bars, then thousands are expected to lose their jobs and businesses could lose hundreds of thousands of pounds.