Amazon UK warehouse shake-up places 1,200 jobs at risk

The decision comes after Amazon’s recent announcement of cutting 18,000 jobs globally

Amazon has announced its plans to close three warehouses in the UK and open two new major fulfilment centres. This decision may impact 1,200 jobs, but the company says all employees will be offered roles at other existing Amazon locations. The proposed closures include warehouses in Hemel Hempstead, Doncaster and Gourock, in the west of Scotland. The new sites, which are planned to open in Peddimore in the West Midlands and Stockton-on-Tees in the North East, are expected to create 2,500 jobs over the next three years.

A spokesperson for Amazon stated that the company is always evaluating its network to ensure it meets the needs of the business and improves the experience for its employees and customers. The closure of these sites, as well as the opening of new ones, is a part of this ongoing process. They also highlighted that employees affected by the closure will be offered the opportunity to transfer to other facilities.

The union representing some of the workers at the Hemel Hempstead site expressed disappointment with the decision, and is sceptical about the possibility of finding alternative work for all affected employees. The company has acknowledged that the Gourock location has less scope for alternative work within Amazon and says they will offer retraining and reskilling opportunities to affected employees.

Steve Garelick, GMB union officer for Hemel Hempstead, commented: “Disappointed for the workers and disappointed for the town and a deep concern this is the thin end of the wedge for the local area.

“Some workers may be offered alternative roles but decamping to Luton, Dunstable or Milton Keynes isn’t as practical as you might think.”

This decision comes after Amazon’s recent announcement of cutting 18,000 jobs globally and joins other tech giants in mass redundancies. Amazon has over 1.5 million employees worldwide, with 300,000 in corporate roles that are likely to be affected by the worldwide cuts.

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