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Amazon Asks Laid-Off Workers to Help Fill 100K New Jobs

Orders are surging during coronavirus outbreak
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2020 6:10 PM CDT

(Newser) – A jump in orders since the new coronavirus hit the US has created a need at Amazon for more employees. So the company announced Monday that it's hiring 100,000 new full- and part-time delivery and warehouse workers, CNBC reports. In addition, Amazon said it will raise the pay of current delivery workers—and Whole Foods employees—in the US and Canada by $2 an hour through April, per the AP. Employees in Europe will receive comparable increases. Amazon invited people who have been laid off during the slowdown caused by the outbreak, including those in the restaurant and travel industries, to apply. "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," a company statement said.

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Demand is up so much, as consumers try to avoid leaving the house to shop, that Amazon announced over the weekend that it's out of many household staples. The company warned shoppers that there could be delivery delays, and some Prime Now and Amazon Fresh customers were told that deliveries couldn't be made now. Absences could be adding to the crunch, per the Wall Street Journal: After a policy change to deal with the outbreak, employees can take unlimited, unpaid time off through March. Under another change last week, the sick leave policy now covers part-time warehouse workers. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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