By Crain’s New York
Amazon temporarily closed the warehouse, which is near LaGuardia Airport—sending workers home with full pay—so it could be cleaned and sanitized. The confirmed case was in an Amazon “delivery station,” much smaller than a so-called fulfillment center, where thousands of employees work with robots to pack and ship orders. Amazon did not disclose how many people work at the Queens facility.
The U.S. giant’s delivery network has been overwhelmed by unrelenting demand from shoppers looking to stock up on supplies and heeding government advice to avoid stores and public gatherings. Monday it announced it would be hiring 100,000 workers and temporarily boosting pay by $2 per hour to keep up. It is accepting shipments to its warehouses only of essential goods including groceries, medical supplies and pet food from independent merchants selling items on its websites.
“We are supporting the individual, who is now in quarantine,” an Amazon spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. Since the early days of the virus outbreak being identified, Amazon has “implemented proactive measures to protect employees, including increased cleaning at all facilities, maintaining social distance and adding distance between drivers and customers when making deliveries.”
Amazon set up a $25 million relief fund to pay workers for up to two weeks if they get sick with the virus or miss work due to quarantines.
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