Amazon warehouse closures put 1,200 jobs at risk

Image credit: BBC

Major online retailer Amazon has revealed plans to close three facilities in the UK, potentially putting 1,200 jobs in jeopardy.

However, the company did say that it planned to construct two more centres and add 2,500 jobs over the next three years.

The three closing warehouses are situated at Gourock, Doncaster, and Hemel Hempstead in the west of Scotland.

The corporation announced that workers at the sites that would be closing would have the choice to transfer to other Amazon locations.

Amazon announced last week that it would be laying off more than 18,000 workers globally, which would be a record for the corporation, in an effort to reduce costs.

According to an Amazon spokeswoman, the decision to close the UK warehouses was made following an analysis of the company’s operations in the nation and was “totally unrelated” to the larger reductions, which mostly affect office workers.

The new warehouses, according to the company, will be “state-of-the-art” robotic buildings situated in Peddimore, West Midlands, and Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham.

Additionally, Amazon intends to construct two new locations in Havant and Aylesford while closing seven existing delivery facilities in England that employ numerous staff members.

These will take the place of the current Portsmouth and Aylesford stations.

The internet behemoth, which debuted in the UK in 1998, had a surge in growth during the pandemic.

Around 70,000 people are employed by it in the UK as of right now, including 400 in the Doncaster centre, 500 at Hemel Hempstead, and 300 at Gourock.

The company runs two additional warehouses in Doncaster and one in Dunstable, which is about 20 minutes’ drive from Hemel Hempstead. According to Amazon, these locations may be able to accommodate workers impacted by the closures.

The actions, according to Steve Garelick, a GMB union representative for Hemel Hempstead, are “a genuine kick in the teeth for Amazon personnel who worked themselves into the ground during the festive rush.”

Since the outbreak, Amazon has come under increasing pressure about workers’ rights.

The Coventry warehouse’s hundreds of employees decided last month to go on strike, which is thought to be the first time the business has done so in the UK. The strike, which is a result of a dispute over wages, is scheduled for January 25.

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