Amazon to lay off more than 18,000 staff, including in Europe

AP - Bebeto Matthews

The online retail giant Amazon has announced plans to cut more than 18,000 jobs from its workforce, citing the "uncertain economy" and the fact it hired rapidly during the Covid pandemic.

"Between the reductions we made in November and the ones we're sharing today, we plan to eliminate just over 18,000 roles," said CEO Andy Jassy in a statement to his staff.

This is considerably more than the 10,000 layoffs he announced in November.

Jassey said the company's leadership was "deeply aware that these role eliminations are difficult for people, and we don't take these decisions lightly".

The jobs losses will impact several divisions, but the majority are in human resources and retail operations.

"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," he said.

Some of the layoffs would be in Europe, Jassey said, adding that the affected workers would start being informed as of 18 January.

At the end of September, Amazon had 1.54 million employees, not including seasonal workers, of which 15,500 are employed in France.

Laurent Degousée of the Sud trade union said Amazon France's logistics sector would probably not be affected by the job cuts.

Weathering the storm

Jassey said the sudden announcement was being made because "because one of our teammates leaked this information externally".

He added that the company had "weathered uncertain and difficult economies in the past" and would continue to do so.

(with wires)

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