Amazon to offer $1,000 signing bonuses at some locations in push to hire 75,000 workers

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The company wants to fill roles in its fulfillment and transportation departments

Amazon has announced that it’s recruiting 75,000 workers and that it will offer $1,000 signing bonuses in some locations. 

The company is looking to fill positions in its fulfillment and transportation segments. Some areas with large numbers of open positions include California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Michigan. 

Most new roles will offer an average pay of $17 an hour. In addition to the $1,000 signing bonuses, Amazon said it will also provide an additional $100 to new employees who provide proof that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Worker mistreatment claims

Amazon saw demand grow exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic and has worked to bring on significantly more workers since last March. Simultaneously, it’s faced numerous complaints about its treatment of fulfillment center workers. 

Employees and advocates have complained that the company imposes impossibly high quotas on workers, while others argued that the company’s health and safety practices during the pandemic have been insufficient. 

A large-scale unionization effort at one of its fulfillment centers recently failed, but founder and former CEO Jeff Bezos said the unionization drive clearly demonstrated that the company needed to do more for its employees. 

“While the voting results were lopsided and our direct relationship with employees is strong, it’s clear to me that we need a better vision for how we create value for employees — a vision for their success,” Bezos wrote in his last shareholder letter. 

“We don’t set unreasonable performance goals. We set achievable performance goals that take into account tenure and actual employee performance data. Performance is evaluated over a long period of time as we know that a variety of things can impact performance in any given week, day, or hour,” Bezos said. “If employees are on track to miss a performance target over a period of time, their manager talks with them and provides coaching.” 

Raising pay

Last month, Amazon announced that it would be raising wages for more than 500,000 hourly employees by between 50 cents and $3 an hour -- a total investment of more than $1 billion. 

Over the past year, the company has added more than 400,000 workers to help it meet consumer demand stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Its total number of employees is currently more than 1 million, and the company is looking to bring on tens of thousands more U.S. workers by early 2022. 

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