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Amazon doubles overtime pay for warehouse workers as demand rises due to coronavirus

A worker loads customer orders into a waiting tractor-trailer inside the million-square foot Amazon distribution warehouse that opened last fall in Fall River, MA on Mar. 23, 2017.

John Tlumacki | Boston Globe | Getty Images

Amazon said its doubling hourly wages for its associates working overtime in its U.S. warehouses as demand continues to grow due to the coronavirus.

“All hourly associates working in the U.S. Ops network will receive double their regular hourly rate for every overtime hour worked in a workweek,” Amazon said in a statement to CNBC. “This temporary increased overtime pay is effective March 15, 2020, and will continue through May 9, 2020.”

Reuters was first to report the news.

Amazon said hourly workers will qualify to receive double pay after 40 hours.

 The announcement follows a similar one on Monday, when the e-commerce giant hiked the hourly rate for associates from $15 to $17, which will remain in effect through the end of April.

Additionally, the e-commerce giant said it has plans to hire 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers in the U.S. amid a surge in online orders to the coronavirus outbreak.

Amazon encouraged people whose jobs have been lost or furloughed as a result of the massive shut down of restaurants and stores due the outbreak to apply.

 “We want those people to know we welcome them on our teams until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back,” Amazon said in a statement Monday.

On Thursday, Amazon temporarily closed one of its warehouses in Queens, New York after a warehouse worker tested positive for coronavirus. It was the first known case of an Amazon warehouse worker in the U.S. Five Amazon workers in Europe have contracted the disease.

On March 15th, Amazon warned customers that its running out of stock on some popular household staples amid the dramatic increase in orders and some delivery times will be longer than usual.

Earlier this month, Amazon also advised its global employees who are able to work from home to do so through the end of the month. It will also provide up to two weeks of pay to all employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine, effective immediately.

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