Amazon said on Saturday it is raising overtime pay for associates working in its US warehouses as the world’s largest online retailer tries to meet the rapidly growing demand for online shopping from consumers stuck at home during the coronavirus outbreak.
Jeff Bezos, Chief Executive Officer, the world’s richest person, also said on Saturday, “My own time and thinking is now wholly focused on COVID-19 and on how Amazon can best play its role,” according to a message posted on a company website.
Hourly workers at Amazon’s US warehouses will receive double pay after 40 hours for overtime, up from the 1.5-times rate, from March 15 through May 9, the rate increase announcement said.
This is the second time the e-commerce giant announced an increase in pay for its workers in a week. On Monday, Amazon hiked the minimum hourly rate for associates to $17 from $15 and announced plans to hire 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers in the United States as the virus outbreak boosts online orders.
As the virus spreads across the US Amazon has offered unlimited unpaid time off to encourage employees to stay home if they do not feel well. It has also staggered workers shifts and prohibited employees from sitting next to each other in the lunchroom to limit contact.