Amazon offers warehouse workers higher pay to handle Prime Now groceries

It's focusing on the essentials as it deals with the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Amazon's focus on essentials during the COVID-19 pandemic has led it to offer special incentives to workers. Reuters has learned that Amazon is offering warehouse workers a $2 raise to $19 per hour if they're willing to pick and pack Whole Foods groceries for Prime Now. The company has already outlined plans to hire 100,000 workers to keep up with demand, but that clearly isn't enough in the very near term.

A spokesperson described the hikes as "temporary opportunities" meant to reflect a "significant increase" in grocery orders. It wasn't clear when Amazon expected the pay offer to come to an end.

It won't be surprising if this lasts for a while, regardless of how long the coronavirus outbreak continues. Amazon is already dealing with grocery shortages and problems setting delivery windows. If Amazon doesn't adjust for demand, it won't just hurt the company's business -- it could lead to trouble for customers who may be forced to go outside and risk infection if they can't have groceries delivered.

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