International retail giant Amazon has announced the company is hiring 100,000 new employees in the United States alone to meet the growing demand for online shopping and home deliveries prompted by the coronavirus outbreak.
Amazon plans to add full-time and part-time positions for both warehouse workers and delivery drivers across the country. The company also said it will raise hourly wages for these employees by $2 per hour through the end of April.
This comes as a relief to many workers who have been temporarily or permanently laid off due to companies closing as COVID-19 spreads. Amazon encouraged employees from these companies to apply, which largely includes people who worked in the foodservice and hospitality industries.
The Trouble with Amazon Warehouses
Though these new job opportunities will help the thousands who apply, there is a caveat. Amazon warehouses are notoriously dangerous. The company, which is owned by the richest person on Earth, has been scrutinized for the hazardous, back-breaking work conditions of the warehouses and lack of sick leave or pay. Warehouse workers are given strict quotas and can lose their jobs if they are not met. For many, the amount and weight of the goods they are constantly moving in order to keep up causes severe back and other injuries, often to the extent that they are forced to quit.
The company also came under fire in New York last year for attempting to open a second headquarters in Queens. The company does have a massive warehouse on Staten Island as well as other facilities around New York City and the state.
While many will benefit from the new positions offered by Amazon, there is a possibility that others will suffer. The increasing demand for home deliveries will likely contribute to stressful work conditions that may be injurious—if not deadly.
Contact Belushin Law Firm today to speak with a Brooklyn workers’ compensation attorney if you or a loved one has been injured while working for Amazon or another company with tough working conditions.