How is Amazon dealing with coronavirus?

Every company is struggling with how to deal with various elements of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, and Amazon is no exception. As a multinational, operating in more than 30 countries, with over 750,000 employees, Amazon has taken steps to keep employees healthy. Amazon has also been addressing coronavirus related abuses on their marketplaces. 

Measures to protect Amazon employees

One issue that major companies such as Amazon has is that it is unknown just how contagious the new strain of coronavirus is. One issue that major companies such as Amazon has is that it is unknown just how contagious the new strain of coronavirus is. Amazon has therefore taken several steps to help keep employees healthy and safe amidst concerns.. 

  • Amazon has announced that warehouse workers wont be penalised for taking time off this month (March)
  • Warehouse staff must clean their work areas and vehicles at the start and end of every shift
  • Seattle, Bellevue and the San Francisco Bay area employees are working remotely at this time
  • All employees diagnosed with the coronavirus, or put into quarantine, will receive up to two weeks of pay
  • Establishing a relief fund to help support its contractors and gig workers who are affected by coronavirus in any way
 

Although all of this is good news, medical experts suggest that recovering can take anything up to 6 weeks so employees may still find themselves restricted by a loss of income in some cases. However, with such a large workforce and an international virus spreading rapidly, attempting to give the usual pay until fully recovered to all staff affected by coronavirus could ultimately bankrupt even a large corporation such as Amazon.

Measures to stop abuses on marketplaces

Amazon has in recent weeks begun cracking down on coronavirus-related abuse on its platform. The company has removed millions of products making false cornavirus claims. Amazon has also restricted the types of third-party sellers that can sell health and sanitation products like face masks and hand sanitiser during this time. This is in response to preventing sellers from price gouging on Amazon’s platforms. Price gouging on Amazon is when a seller increases the prices of their products to such a high extent that it is considered exploitative. Although restricting the number of products available to consumers might affect the customer experience, Amazon wants to ensure that their shoppers aren’t being exploited. It was reported that nearly 7,000 face masks were being sold a day on Amazon so it is no surprise to hear that sellers were increasing face mask prices by 166% since the outbreak. Also, with such a high demand, Amazon is all too aware that counterfeits will flood the marketplace if they didn’t place restrictions on such coveted items caused by the virus. Amazon isn’t the only company trying to prevent sellers price gouging though, Facebook recently announced that they are trying to stop the exploitation of coronavirus-related chaos by banning listings and advertisements for medical face masks on their platform as well.

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