Amazon hiring 100,000 more workers in US and Canada

This is in addition to the 33,000 corporate and technology employees Amazon announced last week.
This is in addition to the 33,000 corporate and technology employees Amazon announced last week.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - Amazon.com is hiring 100,000 full and part-time employees across the US and Canada, offering starting wages of at least US$15 (S$20) an hour, the latest announcement in the Seattle-based e-commerce giant's hiring spree.

The new jobs include benefits and sign-on bonuses of as much as US$1,000 in select cities and access to training programmes, the company said in a statement on Monday (Sept 14). This is in addition to the 33,000 corporate and technology employees the Seattle-based e-commerce giant announced last week, it said.

Amazon also plans to open 100 new operations buildings in September across fulfillment centers, delivery stations, sorting centers and other sites, the company said the statement.

Amazon has been adding jobs globally as its business and market valuation have soared, increasing numbers of full and part time employees by about 10 per cent to 876,800 in the first six months of 2020, according to its July financial report. Earlier this month, the company announced plans to add 7,000 permanent workers in the U.K. and has made similar announcements in Ireland and South Africa.

Its shares have surged almost 70 per cent this year, lifting its market value to US$1.56 trillion, as the company's online shopping services became vital to many households under lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Still, the company has attracted criticism for how it has treated workers. The company posted and then abruptly deleted a position for an analyst to research "labour organising threats against the company" calling it "inaccurate". However, labour activists said the listing suggests Amazon is trying to prevent workers from collective bargaining, which drew attention earlier in the year after some employees protested conditions in warehouses that they said put them at risk of catching the coronavirus.

Amazon said in July it had spent US$4 billion in the second quarter on Covid-19-related initiatives to keep employees safe and provide them with additional compensation.

Founder and chief executive officer Jeff Bezos is the world's wealthiest person, with a net worth of about US$184 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.