Amazon on Thursday unveiled a broad series of new measures to protect its employees during the coronavirus pandemic, amid loud and sustained criticism from employees, advocacy groups and lawmakers of the company’s handling of the crisis.
As early as next week, temperature checks will be instituted across Amazon’s entire US and European operations network, which include its warehouses and delivery centers, as well as Whole Foods grocery stores, Dave Clark, the head of worldwide operations, said in a blog post Thursday.
He said the online retailer started these checks on Sunday and is already doing temperature checks daily for more than 100,000 employees and is asking workers who register over the CDC-recommended 100.4F to go home.
Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos late last month said an order of millions of face masks was delayed as hospitals and first responders across the globe have been working to get their own supplies. Clark said those orders are now starting to arrive and are being distributed to workers. “Masks will be available as soon as today in some locations and in all locations by early next week,” Clark said.
Additionally, Clark said the company has already hired over 80,000 new employees, out of the 100,000 US workers it had said it planned to bring on to respond to a spike in demand from customers. He added that Amazon plans to “go well beyond” its initial investment of $350 million in additional pay to its workers.
More to come.