David Pastor, News Reporter
Walmart Canada intends on hiring 10,000 people to keep up with the high demand for products during the COVID-19 crisis.
It is among a group of retail companies deemed essential — which include grocery stores and pharmacies — frantically working to keep shelves stocked. Other firms like Amazon Canada, seeking about 1,000 new employees, and various food-related industries are hiring to meet increased demands.
Many Humber students are currently unemployed, causing extra stress and anxiety to their quarantine situations.
Ryan Turnbull, a second-year Sport Management student, said he has mixed emotions. While it could help students financially he’s concerned about how it could affect their health.
“I think it [the impact it will have on students] will fall in between the middle, it wouldn’t be good but wouldn’t be bad,” he said. “Some students could potentially get jobs but they are at risk of getting the disease COVID-19.”
Horacio Barbeito, president and CEO of Walmart Canada, issued a statement praising Walmart workers for putting in countless hours to support their communities during the pandemic.
Barbeito insured consumers that Walmart will work to provide the best service possible under the circumstances.
“Our primary focus is the health and wellness of our associates, our customers, and our communities,” he wrote. “Walmart is monitoring the situation very closely, adhering to guidance from public health authorities and taking several decisive actions in this time of uncertainty.”
Walmart Canada strives to provide the best service, dedicating the opening hour especially to seniors, people with disabilities and poor health conditions, Barbeito wrote.
The 9,000 Canadian employees are putting in extra effort to replenish stock. He noted one worker in Calgary who handled 3,200 cases of products in one shift ” to ensure that our products got to customers,” he stated.
The company will make about $3 million in contributions to charities around the country. That includes a $500,000 donation to Food Banks Canada and will continue it “Fight Hunger. Spark Change” campaign to provide 15,000 meals to families across the country.
The employees will also receive acknowledgment for the work they have done as they will get extra benefits going forward.
“We’ve already announced steps to provide additional support for associates affected by the crisis,” Barbeito wrote.
He wrote the company is also offering access to live online physician care for all employees to get advice and care.
“And we’re accelerating our store associate annual bonus payments to recognize their hard work.”