Amazon touts jobs record as congressional scrutiny intensifies
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Amazon has promoted 35,000 workers this year and plans to add as many as 100,000 temporary employees during the lucrative holiday shopping season, figures that illustrate the economic power wielded by CEO Jeff Bezos as the e-commerce giant he founded faces growing government scrutiny.
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In a Tuesday announcement that showcased its labor-market performance, the Seattle-based company tacitly underscored its significance as the U.S. grapples with the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. The COVID-19 pandemic and measures to counter it have left 12 million Americans out of work and choked restaurants and bars with social-distancing requirements that keep many of them from breaking even, much less turning a profit.
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Many of the seasonal workers Amazon is hiring will have opportunities for permanent positions in the company, which Bezos founded as an online bookstore in the late 1990s.
Positions will be in Amazon's vast operations network–including selecting items in its order-fulfillment centers as well as packing, shipping and delivering orders–the company said, and many come with the possibility of bonus payments.
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"We believe in providing our employees with great jobs and better futures," Alicia Boler Davis, vice president of global customer fulfillment, said in a statement. "We’re proud to see our employees grow through promotions to the next level" as well as benefit from programs such as Career Choice that help them pursue in-demand occupations, she added.
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With a workforce of more than 876,000 as of the end of June, Amazon posted sales of $163.4 billion in the first half of this year, benefiting from nationwide lockdowns that left many shoppers reluctant to visit brick-and-mortar stores and more likely to make purchases online.
Its success hasn't gone unnoticed, particularly in Washington, where Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee published a staff report this month examining anticompetitive practices by Amazon and Silicon Valley standouts including Apple, Facebook and Google parent Alphabet.