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Workers at an Amazon warehouse

Amazon hiring 100,000 people as online orders surge on virus fear

REUTERS, March 16, 2020

(Reuters) – Amazon.com said on Monday it would hire 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers in the United States to tackle a surge in online orders, as consumers shop heavily fearing the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

U.S. super market chains Albertsons, Kroger and Raley’s are also looking to hire staff to man busy sections and fulfill online orders.

The grocery sections of Kroger, Walmart Inc and Costco have witnessed long lines as customers stockpile everyday essentials.

Privately-held Albertsons, which also owns Safeway, Vons and Jewel-Osco, is hiring for in-store positions, grocery delivery drivers and personal shoppers across divisions.

“If your income has been impacted due to current events or if you’re looking for part time work, Raley’s has opportunities for you to earn an income and serve our communities,” Raley’s said in its “mass hiring” announcement on LinkedIn.

The supermarket chain is hiring in multiple locations in California to fulfill online orders.

“We also 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,” Amazon said in a blog post.

The outbreak has been especially difficult for gig economy workers as global travel restrictions leave airports nearly empty and more people are advised to work from home.

The company said it would spend over $350 million to raise the pays for these employees in the United States and Canada by $2 an hour, 2 pounds in the UK and about 2 euros in the European Union through April.

It currently pays $15 or more an hour for workers in its U.S. fulfillment centers, depending on the region.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M. and Arun Koyyur

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