Amazon.com Inc. will hire an additional 7,000 people for permanent jobs in the U.K. this year, increasing its workforce to more than 40,000 to deal with a surge in demand for online shopping.The company has already added 3,000 jobs to its U.K fulfillment centers, sort centers and delivery stations, and the additional roles will be in its corporate offices and two new fulfillment centers opening in the North East and the Midlands in the autumn, Amazon said in a statement on Thursday.
Amazon is looking for engineers, human resources and IT professionals, as well as finance and health and safety professionals and packing and shipment teams. In addition, the company said it was creating about 20,000 new seasonal positions in the U.K. across three pop-up facility centers for the holidays.
The U.K., like many other countries, is struggling to find ways to protect workers after the Covid-19 pandemic forced shops and restaurants to shut. The government is under pressure to extend a furlough program that’s helping to pay wages at about 10 million U.K. jobs and is due to be wound down next month.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma called Amazon’s move “hugely encouraging.” The company also announced plans to create 3,500 new tech and corporate jobs in U.S. cities last month.Read More: Amazon Workers Find Long-Elusive Leverage in CoronavirusStill, the company, whose deliveries became essential to many households under lockdown, has come under fire during the pandemic for how it’s treated workers.
This week, the company posted and then abruptly deleted a job listing for an analyst who would research “labor organizing threats against the company” calling it “inaccurate.” However Labor activists said the job listing suggests Amazon is trying to prevent workers from collective bargaining. Some workers have protested the conditions in warehouses this year, which they’ve said put them at risk of catching the coronavirus.Amazon said in Thursday’s statement that it provides some of the “most advanced workplaces of their kind in the world,” with systems to ensure the wellbeing and safety of all employees. Workers will be offered benefits including private medical insurance, life assurance, income protection, subsidized meals and an employee discount, as well as a company pension plan.
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