COVID-19 is forcing Amazon to improve its relationship with warehouse workers who are demanding better conditions as orders surge.

WHY IT MATTERS

  • As a result of the pandemic, Amazon’s heightened demand is forcing the ecommerce giant to reevaluate its distribution system and how it treats warehouse employees. In spite of its technological advancements, Amazon still relies on its warehouse workers to fulfill millions of orders—it plans to hire 100,000 people through May. While Amazon said that it raised wages and is offering two-weeks of paid sick leave, workers say that the company only provides paid-time-off with proof of positive test results. But with the lack of national testing and the time it takes to receive results, symptomatic employees continue to work and ultimately spread the virus further. Amazon needs to be flexible and address the needs of employees with personalized attention, compassion and transparency. If the company doesn’t properly care for its employees, its increasing revenue could be offset by lasting reputational damage.