Wed, Oct 02, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Amazon says it is hiring 40% more seasonal workers

AP and AFP, SEATTLE and WARSAW

Amazon.com says it is hiring 70,000 full-time seasonal workers around the US to fill orders over the holiday season.

The world’s largest online retailer says the hires are an increase of 40 percent over last year’s 50,000 workers. Seasonal employees at Amazon.com Inc order fulfillment centers are eligible for healthcare benefits and, on average, earn 94 percent of the wages of regular employees.

Amazon says it plans to convert “thousands” of the temporary jobs into full-time roles after the holiday season.

Yesterday’s announcement from the Seattle-based company follows seasonal hiring announcements from other large retailers. Wal-Mart Stores said last week that it is hiring 55,000 seasonal workers. It is also elevating 35,000 temporary workers to part-time positions and 35,000 part-time workers to full-time jobs.

Meanwhile, hit by labor disputes in Germany, Amazon is considering five new logistics centers in the Czech Republic and Poland, a Polish business daily reported on Monday.

The report comes after several hundred employees of its German centers went on strike after Amazon refused to bring pay in line with comparable work in the distribution sector. Walkouts were also held in May and June.

The new centers — which would carry lower labor costs — would each measure about 100,000m2 and cost from 50 million euros (US$67.8 million) to 60 million euros, the Puls Biznesu daily said, citing anonymous sources.

Regional development agency official Ewa Kaucz in the western city of Wroclaw told the daily that talks were ongoing, but no final decision had been made.

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