Amazon is reportedly offering higher pay to recruit current warehouse employees to work at the company-owned Whole Foods grocery as demand for food increases and sufficient staff decreases, according to Reuters.
The news came from a memo reviewed by Reuters, reportedly sent to warehouse workers in a Maryland facility.
“The Prime Now business has seen a mass increase in volume and is now offering labor share opportunities,” according to the memo obtained by Reuters. Amazon’s online grocery services are shipped from Whole Foods stores. Called Amazon Fresh, the company sector has seen a surge in orders since the coronavirus pandemic issued multiple stay-at-home ordinances throughout the country.
Amazon employees who transition into grocery store operations can expect to earn $19 per hour, a $2 raise from current $17 per hour warehouse wages.
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Last Friday, a spokesperson was quoted as explaining the employee shuffling: “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.”
Reuters notes that Amazon warehouse employees in other states with Amazon grocery services have received similar communications, specifically California, Nevada and Tennessee.
This comes as Whole Foods employees are planning a strike on Tuesday to protest inadequate working conditions at the grocery stores during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Covid-19 is a very real threat to the safety of our workforce and customers,” wrote Whole Worker in a statement quoted by The Street. “We cannot wait for politicians, institutions, or our own management to step in to protect us."
Other food delivery services, such as Instacart and GrubHub, have also reported spikes in orders. Grocery stores such as Walmart and Kroger, as well as Amazon itself, have announced expansions in hiring and fast tracking applications to meet the demand of shoppers who anticipate being quarantined for long periods of time.
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