Ecommerce major Amazon will hire nearly 50,000 temporary workers to cope with surging demand from online shoppers for both essential and non-essential products. The development comes as India eases nationwide restrictions in the fourth phase of the lockdown to curtail the COVID-19 pandemic.
Akhil Saxena, VP of Customer Fulfilment Operations, APAC, MENA & LATAM at Amazon stated, “One thing we’ve learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is how important a role Amazon and ecommerce can play for our customers as much as for small businesses & the economy. We take this responsibility seriously, and we’re proud of the work our teams are doing to help small and other businesses deliver to our customers through this difficult time. We want to continue helping customers all over India get everything they need so they can continue to practice social distancing. To enable this, we are creating work opportunities for close to 50,000 seasonal associates across our fulfillment and delivery network. This will also keep as many people as possible working during this pandemic while providing a safe work environment for them.”
These temporary associates will work alongside the existing supply chain staff at the online marketplace helping to pick, pack, ship, and deliver orders to customers. The jobs will include part-time flexible work opportunities being offered through the American retailer’s newly launched Amazon Flex service.
While Amazon did not quantify the rise in demand following the opening up of ecommerce sales across the country except in containment zones, however, it remains a fact that like other ecommerce players, Amazon has seen a sharp reduction in on-ground staff owing to widespread displacement of workers. It is possible that a large part of these hires will be to make up for the shortfall that they might have on the labor front while the rest might be for the surge they expect.
The move follows Amazon’s recent earnings call wherein it stated that it would spend about$4 Bn as part of its COVID-19 response globally. The company said it would spend $350 Mn to hire additional workers and increase their pay in order to compensate them for their services. In the US as well, Amazon has seen a major surge in orders due to the pandemic and has hired 175,000 additional workers.