New York, Jan 17 (EFE).- Tech giant Amazon this week will officially begin informing thousands of workers that they’re being laid off, an announcement the firm made earlier this month and which will mainly affect employees in its retail business and human resources.
In all, starting Wednesday Amazon intends to eliminate a little over 18,000 jobs, including layoffs it announced last November when it had cut 10,000 jobs, mostly in its mobile device and books sections.
The figure represents about 6 percent of the company’s 300,000 “corporate” employees – mainly office workers – with the firm’s total payroll, including people working by the hour or on temporary contracts, in warehouses and delivery tasks, being more than 1.5 million.
The firm is considered to be the second-biggest private employer in the United States, with retail giant Walmart being in the No. 1 spot.
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy announced the new layoffs on Jan. 4 after the plans had already leaked to the press.
“Amazon has weathered uncertain and difficult economies in the past, and we will continue to do so,” Jassy said in that Jan. 4 post. “These changes will help us pursue our long-term opportunities with a stronger cost structure.”
The firm is “deeply aware that these role eliminations are difficult for people, and we don’t take these decisions lightly,” said Jassy in a message to staff, adding that “We are working to support those who are affected and are providing packages that include a separation payment, transitional health insurance benefits, and external job placement support.”
Even so, the company’s top official said the task of informing the unlucky workers – or their unions, in certain cases – will begin on Jan. 18, although he provided no details about how those layoffs will be distributed among the many countries in which Amazon operates.
As justification for readjusting the payroll, Amazon pointed to economic uncertainty and the high number of contract workers it had hired in recent years.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the US firm doubled its payroll to take advantage of the e-commerce and tech sector boom.
During its 2020 fiscal year, Amazon made a net profit of more than $21 billion, almost double its profit in 2019, while in 2021 it once again broke records, making a profit of more than $33 billion.
Although its performance for 2022 has not yet been made public, between January and September the company registered losses of about $3 billion – mainly as a result of the dive in the electronic vehicle manufacturing firm Rivian, in which the tech giant has an important stake – despite the fact that its sales continued to increase.
Amazon’s layoffs are part of a generalized trend in the tech sector, which after growing strongly in recent years has opted in the past few months to make significant business readjustments.
Companies like Twitter, Meta and Salesforce, among many others, have made significant payroll cuts and calculations are that in 2022 the tech sector lost more than 150,000 jobs, according to the Layoffs.fyi Web site, which compiles the figures announced by companies.