So, the company’s warehouse employees will have the option to transfer to Whole Foods’ grocery team, also owned by Amazon. If they do so, they’ll make more money, the company said — about $19 an hour.
This process is known as labor sharing. It works to reallocate workers to other parts of a business during times of extreme need. And with many Americans using grocery delivery apps and services to avoid potential exposure to the highly contagious coronavirus, Amazon is feeling the pressure.
Amazon uses its Amazon Fresh program for grocery delivery, and also Amazon Prime Now, which delivers from Whole Foods stores.
But the company’s services are seeing strains under the virus pandemic, with reports coming in of out-of-stock items on Amazon and a lack of delivery windows due to the sheer volume of the requested services. Prime Pantry had to close its doors temporarily because of the massive amounts of traffic and orders.
In a message to its workers in the states of Maryland, California, Nevada and Tennessee, Amazon said Prime Now in particular had seen a sharp jump in the number of orders placed as of late and thus new opportunities for work were now available.
Safety concerns are still abundant, though, with reports of coronavirus infections coming in from at least 17 of Amazon’s warehouses. Critics have wondered if the sales giant has done enough to ensure its employees are protected.
Amazon’s offering of $19 per hour for these jobs represents a $2 increase from the pay hike Amazon announced earlier this month. There will also be 100,000 new hires for full- and part-time positions across the country.
Amazon bought Whole Foods in 2017 for $13.7 billion and has been making a name for itself in the grocery business. Its services are available in 2,000 cities across the nation and are free for Prime users.