May 1 (UPI) — Amazon sent a message Thursday to tens of thousands of employees in downtown Seattle and Bellevue, allowing those who have been working from home since early March to remain “closed” until October 2,media reported. This could lead to another five months of idleness in one of Seattle’s busiest neighborhoods.
An Amazon spokesman confirmed the news, adding: “We are working hard and investing heavily to ensure the safety of those who choose to work in the office, including maintaining safe distances, deep cleaning and disinfection, temperature testing, and providing masks and hand sanitizer.” “
On March 4th, as the new coronavirus outbreak spread in places like Seattle and Bellevue, Amazon joined other big employers to advise employees to work from home. While the outbreak has had a serious impact on the economy as a whole, restaurants and stores serving Amazon’s tens of thousands of programmers, engineers and business employees in Seattle and Bellevue were the first places to see business disappear.
Amazon has offered $10 million in grants and rent relief to more than 800 small businesses, and has pledged to continue paying contractors that employ about 10,000 people to clean, secure and other jobs at the front desk of the company’s officewhile while working from home.
“I believe that overall, we can make progress when our employees are at home,” Brian Olsavsky, Amazon’s chief financial officer, said on a conference call with reporters Thursday. It’s just that specific work, such as video production and the development of new hardware device features, slows down because you don’t collaborate in the office. (Small)