Amazon said it will also increase pay for many workers through April. File Photo by Friedemann Vogel/EPA-EFE
March 17 (UPI) -- U.S. retail giant Amazon says it will hire 100,000 full- and part-time workers at fulfillment centers to keep up with demand and help Americans who are isolating during the coronavirus outbreak.
The company said it decided to hire additional workers to help Americans who "rely on Amazon's service in this stressful time." Amazon also said it will hike pay for some workers in the United States and Britain through April.
"Amazon and our network of partners are helping communities around the world in a way that very few can, delivering critical supplies directly to the doorsteps of people who need them," Dave Clark, Amazon's senior vice president of worldwide operations, wrote Monday on the company's blog.
"We want to recognize our employees who are playing an essential role for people at a time when many of the services that might normally be there to support them are closed."
Supermarket chain Kroger also announced plans to hire new workers across the United States to help stock items.
Kroger said it has "immediate positions available across our retail stores, manufacturing plants and distribution centers," and noted that the additional hires can be made in a matter of days
"The supply chain is strong and has not been interrupted," Felix Turner, manager of corporate affairs for Kroger's Atlanta division, said. "Our associates, management team and suppliers are working hard to replenish shelves as quickly as possible to ensure that the food, medicine and cleaning supplies are reaching our stores as quickly as possible and are available through our pickup, delivery and ship services."
Neil Saunders, managing director of retail consultancy Global Data, said delivery workers can become a "linchpin" from businesses to consumers with some restaurants and bars closing.
"Without them, many businesses will simply grind to a complete halt," he said. "The worry is that with delivery volumes increasing and more people likely to fall sick, delivery networks could come under increasing pressure."