Did Amazon help during the Covid-19 pandemic?

Yes!

RATING: +4
  • Lack of protection for Amazon staff in warehouses (CNET)
  • Jeff Bezos, world’s richest man, asks public to donate to Amazon relief fund (Amazon is worth $1tn, and Mr Bezos is worth an estimated $114bn, making him the world’s richest man. In 2018, the company reported an income of $11bn but paid $0 into federal taxes) (Independent) EDIT: 4 May 2020 – Amended and removed as Amazon did not publicly ask for donations but had a donations button on the site. Also, they started off the fund with a $25 million added to the fund (CNET)
  • Amazon Is Struggling to Pay Workers in Quarantine (The Atlantic)
  • Accused of price gouging by Attorneys General during the pandemic (NPR)
  • Fired Christian Smalls, a worker at Amazon’s warehouse in Staten Island, New York, after he helped organize a strike demanding paid sick leave to all warehouse workers and to temporarily shut down and deep-clean warehouses that have had COVID-19 cases. Amazon claimed it was because he broke quarantine to come in, putting others at risk but it’s been argued that his quarantine would have ended 5 days before and was not in effect when he came in (Business Insider)
  1. Bezos reiterated Amazon’s commitment to hiring 100,000 new roles, along with raising hourly wages for fulfilment workers (Tech Crunch) even doubling it for those working overtime (The Verge)
  2. Bezos notes that while the company has “placed purchase orders for millions of face masks” that it intends to distribute to its full-time and contract workers who are not able to work from home. He further notes that these resources are likely to go to frontline healthcare workers first, and that the company will focus on getting them to their staff in order of priority once they become available (Tech Crunch)
  3. Amazon Music have donated to MusiCares’ relief fund for music workers whose livelihoods have been impacted by the coronavirus crisis (Billboard)
  4. IBM, the Energy Department national laboratories, Alphabet Inc.’s Google Cloud, Amazon.com Inc.’s Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Corp. and others, established the Covid-19 High Performance Computing Consortium. Compute resources are being donated to empower researchers around the world to accelerate understanding of the COVID-19 virus and the development of treatments and vaccines to help address infections (XSEDE)
  5. Jeff Bezos, CEO, donated $100 million to U.S. food banks (CBS News)
  6. Amazon is giving away free Computer Science courses (Amazon Future Engineer)
  7. Extended their return policy to May 31st (The Verge)
  8. They are building testing labs for employees (Pharmalive)

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