(CBS News) — Walmart plans to hire 150,000 temporary workers to keep up with demand from shoppers who are stocking up during the coronavirus pandemic. The retailer also said it plans to give $300 bonuses to all full-time hourly workers who have been employed as of March 1 and are still working there on March 24.
Part-time workers employed by the same dates will receive a bonus of $150, the company said. It expects to pay the bonuses on April 2. The company also said it would push forward its first-quarter bonuses for hourly workers to late April, which is a month earlier than normal.
“We know this is a difficult time when many people could use more cash, and we want to support you how we can,” John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart U.S. said in a memo sent to Walmart workers that was posted on the company’s website.
Consumer concerns about the economic impact of the coronavirus has led some people to stock up on basics like toilet paper and groceries as the outbreak widens. California has ordered residents to stay home unless they absolutely have to go out to meet essential needs.
The pandemic has claimed more than 10,000 lives around the world and is widening in the U.S. and much of Europe. With many Americans working at home and avoiding groups of people, they’re also ensuring their pantries are well stocked.
Amazon on Mondayacross the U.S. to keep up with a crush of online orders as the virus spreads and keeps more people at home and shopping online.
Walmart said the 150,000 new workers will be employed in stores, clubs and fulfillment centers, and that the jobs will be “temporary at first, but we expect many to convert to permanent roles over time.”