Amazon Pays Employees to Start Businesses


13 May, 2019

The U.S.-based business Amazon is often called a technology company. But many people know the company best for all the products it sells on the internet.

Amazon's website offers everything from jewelry and electronics to health and beauty care products.

Now, Amazon is looking for ways to ship its products faster to buyers across the United States. It is trying to speed up product delivery times. To do that, the company announced a plan Monday: to pay its employees to give up their job and help them start a business delivering Amazon packages.

FILE - Packages ride on a conveyor system at an Amazon fulfillment center in Baltimore, Maryland, Aug. 3, 2017.
FILE - Packages ride on a conveyor system at an Amazon fulfillment center in Baltimore, Maryland, Aug. 3, 2017.

The offer comes as the company tries to decrease its shipping times for Amazon Prime members. The goal is to deliver goods to Prime members in one day.

Amazon says it will pay up to $10,000 in costs for employees who are accepted into the new delivery program.

Once accepted, Amazon says it will pay the former employees what amounts to three months of their former wages.

The offer is open to most part-time and full-time Amazon employees, including those working in warehouses and other places where products are stored.

The company, based in Seattle, Washington, did not say how many employees it expects to take them up on the offer.

The new announcement is part of a program Amazon started a year ago. That program lets anyone offer to launch an independent Amazon delivery business.

John Felton is Amazon's vice president of global delivery services. He said that more than 200 Amazon delivery businesses have been created since the company launched the program in June of 2018.

Milton Collier heads one of the delivery services. He started the business in Atlanta, Georgia about eight months ago. Since then, it has grown to include 50 vehicles and about 120 employees.

Collier says his business is already preparing for the one-day shipping goal by looking for more workers.

"We're ready," said Collier.

I'm John Russell.

Joseph Pisano reported on this story for the Associated Press. John Russell adapted his report for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

delivery -n. the act of taking something to a person or place

global adj. of or related to the whole world; worldwide

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