Amazon plans to axe 18,000 jobs in mass layoff exercise due to ‘uncertain economy’ - European posts at risk

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Amazon CEO Andy Jassy cited an ‘uncertain economy’ as the reason for as many as 18,000 layoffs across the globe.

Amazon plans to cut more than 18,000 jobs globally in a major layoff exercise, the largest in the company’s history as it seeks to cut costs, new reports indicate. The online giant, which employs 1.5 million people around the world, did not say which country would be affected, but said the job cuts would include Europe.

According to the BBC, the majority of job losses would be in its stores, including Amazon Fresh and Go, as well as its human resources section. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy blamed the "uncertain economy" as the reason for the layoffs, claiming the company had "hired rapidly over several years."

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In a message to Amazon staff, he said: “Companies that last a long time go through different phases. They’re not in heavy people-expansion mode every year.” It is understood employees affected by the cuts are expected to be told by January 18.

The move follows the technology giant’s announcement last year that it will shrink its workforce without specifying how many positions would be lost. In 2022, Amazon said it would lay off roughly 10,000 workers.

This also comes after the first ever strike by UK workers at Amazon that is set to be held later this month. Members of the GMB union based at the company’s Coventry warehouse will stage a walkout on January 25 after voting in favour of industrial action over a pay dispute.

The union organiser said: "They’ve [the workers] shown they’re willing to put themselves on the line to fight for what’s right. But people working for one of the most valuable companies in the world shouldn’t have to threaten strike action just to win a wage they can live on."

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She urged Amazon UK bosses to give workers "a proper pay rise and avoid industrial action". According to the GMB, hundreds of employees decided to strike in protest of a 50p per hour salary increase offer.

The minimum hourly compensation for Amazon employees has increased by 29% since 2018, according to an Amazon spokesman, with pay rates based on location starting at a minimum of between £10.50 and £11.45.

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