In a major strategic move, Amazon Canada has disclosed that it is hiring up to 15,000 more people in Canada and will boost the pay for its front-line workers to up to $21.65 an hour.
A statement by the e-commerce giant made available to newsmen said the hiring spree would boost its Canadian headcount by about 60 per cent.
It was also clarified that the wage hikes are immediate and will be for all current full-time and part-time staff, as well as new hires. Though the company didn’t clarify what it means by “front-line worker,” the pay increases work out to an extra $1.60 to $2.20 per hour.
It should be noted that the moves to beef up compensation and employee numbers in Canada come as the company is making similar enticements in the U.S, reports said.
Recall that Amazon had earlier disclosed that it would pay full tuition and other fees for its front-line workers at hundreds of colleges across the U.S. in a move the company said would cost it more than $1 billion US over the next four years.
The latest Canadian release clarified that the offer extends to Canadian workers too, although details are scanty. The so-called Career Choice program for Canadian Amazon workers says the company will pay up to 95 per cent of the tuition costs “towards a certificate or diploma in qualified fields of study” at various colleges, although no complete list of qualifying schools or programs of study is provided.
In a swift reaction to the development, Economist Sal Guatieri of Bank of Montreal noted that Amazon is just the latest large employer having to step up its offerings in the face of what has become a seller’s market for labour. In a chat with newsmen, he said the U.S. economy currently has more job openings than unemployed people, and Canada is not far off from the same status.
He said, “Many of the largest retailers in the U.S. and Canada have been raising their minimum pay to retain workers and attract new workers because their business is booming especially due to the surge in online shopping”.