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Amazon set to hire 75,000 workers in US and Canada

Online retail giant Amazon has said it is hiring 75,000 workers across the US and Canada to meet growing demand as the pandemic continues.

The new jobs offered across transport and its warehouses will be permanent roles.

It will also offer new staff who have already been vaccinated against Covid-19 a $100 (£71.19) bonus, it said in a statement.

A spokesperson said the firm had an “unwavering commitment to safety”.

The retailer said that the jobs, which are already being advertised, will offer average starting pay of $17 per hour – following recent wage increases it introduced.

Amazon also said it would offer sign-on bonuses of up to $1,000 in some locations to attract new staff.

Figures released last week showed that the US economy added far fewer jobs than expected in April, with some analysts saying that firms were finding it harder to recruit people.

Amazon now employs more than one million workers worldwide, having gone on a huge hiring spree during the pandemic. In the UK, for example, it added 10,000 jobs last year.

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As consumers stayed at home during lockdown, the retailer had its most lucrative year to date in 2020. But it also faced allegations over poor working conditions, as well strikes at warehouses in the US, Italy and Germany.

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), which organised an effort in Alabama to form the first unionised Amazon warehouse in the US, hit out after the latest hiring announcement.

Stuart Appelbaum, president of the RWDSU, said: “Amazon has to keep hiring because of the extraordinary turnover at all of its warehouses.

“No matter what they pay people, it doesn’t compensate for the way they treat people and the unsatisfactory working conditions at Amazon facilities – and people keep leaving these jobs.”

Amazon has insisted that it ensures workers’ health and safety.

In many of its US warehouses across Missouri, Nevada and Kansas, it has organised on-site vaccination events as the rate of jabs being delivered has slowed in recent weeks.

Other companies have also sought to promote Covid vaccinations.

McDonald’s announced on Tuesday that in the US it would start printing “We can do this” slogans, alongside links to websites with further information about vaccines, on its coffee cups.

Consumer giant Unilever will also be giving away milkshakes and ice creams to healthcare workers and those getting vaccinated across several US sites on 14 May.

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www.bbc.co.uk

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