Amazon is offering regular, full-time jobs eligible for benefits including health insurance to 125,000 of the people it hired in March and April.
The company added 175,000 hourly workers in its operations and delivery network to deal with the unexpected surge in demand as shoppers avoided physical stores and stocked up, and workers stayed home under a since-rescinded unlimited unpaid time off policy during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. Those were seasonal roles — like the ones the company fills ahead of its annual winter holiday peak — for which Amazon does not provide health insurance and other benefits, including career training opportunities.
“Like other companies, we hired these individuals for seasonal roles to meet a surge in demand and, for many, there was the hope of returning back to their previous companies once states began to re-open,” Amazon said in a Thursday post. “As the long-term picture becomes more clear, we’re providing the opportunity for 125,000 of those who came on with us seasonally to stay with Amazon and transition into a regular, full-time role beginning in June.”
Amazon in March boosted pay for hourly employees by $2, a premium it intends to rescind beginning June 1. The company pays all employees at least $15 an hour, more than twice the federal minimum wage.
The seasonal hires boosted Amazon’s global workforce to more than 935,000 people.
A company spokesperson had no comment on whether the move to make roughly 70% of the seasonal pandemic hires into full-time employees would reduce the company’s seasonal hiring ahead of the holiday peak.