Facing a sudden drop in demand for rides due to the covid-19 pandemic, Lyft is encouraging its drivers to work for Amazon “to earn additional income right now.” The company is partnering with Amazon on a new recruitment program that aims to help its drivers offset some of the financial difficulties associated with the crisis.
Lyft announced the program in an email to drivers on Friday. Per the Verge, Lyft is telling its drivers to consider applying for roles working in Amazon warehouses, packing groceries or delivering packages. Earlier this month, Lyft stopped adding new drivers in regions across the U.S. in an attempt to increase earnings for existing drivers.
The ridesharing company, along with its rival Uber, has promised to compensate drivers who have been diagnosed with covid-19 or forced to go into quarantine. In a blog posted this week, Lyft also informed its drivers that they may be eligible for compensation under the CARES Act, the $2 trillion coronavirus economic aid law passed in Congress and signed by President Donald Trump.
Although Uber can offset some of the losses associated with declining rides because it also runs the food-delivery app Uber Eats, Lyft has no such failsafe.
In comparison, Amazon has seen a surge in demand for its services as people practice social distancing, work from home or are under quarantine. Earlier this month, Amazon announced that it’s planning to hire 100,000 new workers in the U.S. alone. It also said that it would raise wages by $2 an hour for employees in its fulfillment centers, transportation, stores and delivery divisions in the U.S. and Canada through April. The raises also apply to workers in the UK and many European Union countries, which will see increases of £2 and €2, respectively.
Amazon, however, has recently come under fire for the conditions its workers operate in. On Friday, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Ilhan Omar wrote to CEO Jeff Bezos to ask for more details on how the company was implementing federal health guidelines to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease known as covid-19. At least 10 Amazon warehouses have reported cases of covid-19.
Lyft drivers can sign up for jobs at Amazon on a specific page on the e-commerce company’s jobs website. The page, which says, “We welcome Lyft drivers,” showcases jobs at Amazon’s shopping, warehouse and delivery business lines. It also states that drivers can start working in seven days and that they do not need to provide a resume or previous work experience.
In addition to promoting this new partnership with Amazon, Lyft also told its drivers that they could sign up to deliver groceries, covid-19 tests and other medical supplies in future partnership programs. According to Bloomberg, more than 100,000 drivers had already signed up.