CVS, Walmart, Amazon hiking workers’ pay during COVID-19 crisis

The companies are hiring more employees in an effort to support customers that need their essential supplies during the coronavirus pandemic. Photo by Peter DaSilva/UPI

March 23 (UPI) — CVS Health, Walmart and Amazon have announced major moves to support employees amid the global coronavirus outbreak, raising wages and offering bonuses.

CVS Health said Monday it will begin paying bonuses to pharmacists, store associates and others who are offering critical aid to patients and customers during the pandemic. The company also said it will hire 50,000 more full-time and part-time workers in the United States.

“Our colleagues have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to providing essential goods and services at a time when they’re needed most,” CVS President Larry J. Merlo said in a statement. “As they continue to be there for the individuals and families we serve, we’re taking extra steps to provide some peace of mind and help them navigate these uncertain times.”

Walmart, which is planning to hire more than 150,000 additional workers immediately, said Monday it will offer starting pay from $17 to $18 per hour at distribution centers and as much as $19 at fulfillment centers. From now through Memorial Day, it noted, all fulfillment center workers will be paid an additional $2 per hour.

“Working in Walmart [distribution centers] or [fulfillment centers] will help enable many Americans to provide for families across the country, including their own,” Walmart corporate affairs official Elizabeth Walker wrote in a blog post.

Amazon said it will pay U.S., Canadian and European workers an extra $2 per hour workers through April.

“We also know many people have been economically impacted as jobs in areas like hospitality, restaurants, and travel are lost or furloughed as part of this crisis,” Dave Clark, senior vice president of Amazon worldwide operations, said.

“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 also said last week it will hire 100,000 new full- and part-time workers.


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