Amazon to offer 125,000 temporary coronavirus workers permanent roles next month

Amazon says that it will offer permanent positions to around 70 per cent of the hundreds of thousands of workers it hired to meet demand during the pandemic.

The online giant has hired around 175,000 new staff since the start of the coronavirus crisis in March as sales shot up to record levels, which Amazon said were akin to an extended Black Friday.

Next month, when their contracts officially end, Amazon will offer 125,000 of those new employees a permanent job, according to Reuters.

The other 50,000 workers will be offered a seasonal contract, which can last up to 11 months.

READ MORE: Amazon shareholders demand more data on worker safety after 8 confirmed COVID-19 deaths

Amazon began offering workers who had been laid off from retail and restaurant jobs temporary roles “until things return to normal” in March, sweetening the deal by offering a pay bonus and double overtime pay.

While this was successful in attracting and keeping workers, Amazon reported that this had led to a massive hit to profits.

In its first quarter Amazon said sales jumped 26 per cent to $75.5 billion (£60.1 billion), equating to around $33 million (£26.28 million) an hour, but profits dropped 29 per cent to $2.5 billion (£1.99 billion).

It added that it expects its entire $4 billion profits from the next quarter to be wiped out be extra costs related to coronavirus.

However this latest move suggests that Amazon expects its spike in sales to last beyond lockdown, leading it to require the thousands of extra staff to meet demand.

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