This article has been updated.
Retailers such as San Antonio-based H-E-B and Seattle-based Amazon are adding short-term positions to the San Antonio area to keep up with order demands amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amazon is opening 100,000 new full-time and part-time jobs across the United States, including 1,000 in San Antonio, a spokesman said, while H-E-B is hiring an unspecified amount of cashiers, baggers, checkers and stockers, according to an official company statement.
E-commerce tech giant Amazon is hiring 5,900 employees across Texas for its packing warehouses and delivery trucks to meet a surge in online sales as Americans remain home due to the novel coronavirus. Employing 798,000 people worldwide, Amazon has a Prime Now facility located in San Antonio and distribution centers in Schertz and San Marcos.
Amazon stated Tuesday it is prioritizing delivering household staples, medical supplies and “other high-demand products” while managing the coronavirus outbreak.
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“For products other than these, we have temporarily disabled shipment creation. We are taking a similar approach with retail vendors,” Amazon said in a statement Tuesday. This prioritization will be in effect until April 5, the tech giant stated.
Amazon’s list of household staples include: baby products, health and household items, beauty and personal care items, groceries, industrial and scientific items, and pet supplies.
Since 2010, Amazon has invested more than $10 billion to build warehouses, cloud infrastructure and a 253-megawatt wind farm in Texas, and created more than 22,000 full-time jobs in Texas. The company states it has contributed an additional $9 billion to the Texas economy and generated an additional 32,000 indirect jobs.
Amazon hopes these positions also will help anyone struggling financially during the pandemic, a spokesman stated.
“We also know many people have been economically impacted as jobs in areas like hospitality, restaurants, and travel are lost or furloughed as part of this crisis,” Amazon said in an official statement. “We want those people to know we welcome them on our teams until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back.”
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According to the statement, Amazon will raise pay $2 per hour through April from its current rate of $15 an hour or more, depending on the region and role.
Amazon warehouse and delivery workers can earn between $15 and $18.50 an hour starting wage in the San Antonio area, according to job postings on LinkedIn.
According to an article published by The Washington Post on Tuesday, some Amazon warehouse workers in New York and Chicago are worried Amazon isn’t taking enough precautions to protect its current workers from the virus as orders continue to come in before hiring even more.
San Antonio-based grocery chain H-E-B also is hiring short-term support for its Texas stores to help at checkout registers, bagging groceries and stocking shelves, the company announced Monday.
Baggers will be paid $9.50 an hour, cashiers and daytime stockers $13.50 and overnight stockers $15 an hour, with overnight shifts being from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Universal City H-E-B employee Gia Aguirre, 24, said she is glad to see H-E-B taking steps to hire more part-time workers considering how busy their store has been.
“It’s very much needed with all the chaos [the virus is] causing and will ultimately help our customers get through faster and have an easier time,” Aguirre said. “Most of the employees are maxing out on hours or getting over time just to try and compensate.”
Workforce concerns continue to grow for thousands of service workers unable to work from home. Tuesday morning, Workforce Solutions Alamo announced it is cancelling its events and job fair set for April 30 due to COVID-19 fears.
San Antonio resident Katharine Salgado said the virus concerns have caused the restaurant she works for to cut her hours severely and she plans to apply to H-E-B for a short-term position to make ends meet.
“I am a single mother of two,” Salgado said. “I have a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old. I’m very stressed and starting to panic.”