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Amazon Warehouse Employees Offered Higher Pay To Work In Grocery Unit: Reuters

Amazon Warehouse Employees Offered Higher Pay To Work In Grocery Unit: Reuters
A rising demand for groceries and a shortage of workers has prompted Inc to offer higher pay to its own employees engaged in its warehouses to work in picking and packing at Whole Foods, reported the news agency Reuters based on an internal document in its possession.
This measure by the largest e-commerce company of the world also highlights the struggle for the retailer to reallocate its huge staff strength- also known as labor sharing, so that the company is able to cater to the growing demand for groceries online as millions of Americans stay back home because of the coronavirus pandemic and amid government lockdown in some cities and strong advisories for Americans to stay back at home.
Online grocery services are provided by Amazon in tow modes – using the Amazon Fresh app to deliver products from its own grocery warehouses, and the Amazon Prime Now service used to deliver products from the physical stores of its subsidiary Whole Foods.
“The Prime Now business has seen a mass increase in volume and is now offering labor share opportunities,” Amazon said in a message sent to warehouse workers in Maryland, according to the Reuters report. Similar communications have been received by Amazon employees working in other American states where the company offers grocery services, including California, Nevada, and Tennessee, reported Reuters.
The report further states that the employees who agree to work for Whole Foods will get an additional $2 per hour, making the pay at $19 per hour, which is a $2 raise over and top of the pay hike that was announced earlier this month by Amazon.  While the company is seeking employees to work as in the role of picking and packing products for online orders in a Whole Foods store under tight time limits, working for Amazon Fresh positions would require an employee to work in a freezer environment.
“As we continue to see a significant increase in demand for grocery orders, we are offering temporary opportunities for associates across our fulfillment network to provide additional support,” an Amazon spokesperson told Reuters confirming the move by the company.
The US grocery industry has been one of the major focuses of Amazon ever since it acquired Whole Foods in 2017 in a deal worth $13.7 billion. More than 2,000 cities in the US are now under the purview of the expanded grocery delivery service of the company. While grocery delivery is free for Amazon Prime subscribers, both AmazonFresh and Amazon Prime Now claim delivery of orders within hours.
Ever since the rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the US – which now has reported the highest number of positive cases in the world, most Americans have critically depended on the delivery of grocery to their homes for household staples while they try and venture out of the homes as little as possible. This has resulted in ‘out of stock’ labels being frequently seen on the e-commerce’s grocery platform while there have been reduced windows for deliveries highlighting the struggle for the company to meet eth sudden growth in demand for online groceries. The company had already announced its decision to hire 100,000 full and part-time employees all across the US to fill up position in its fulfillment and delivery networks – which also includes recruitment for delivery of AmazonFresh and Whole Foods orders.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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