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Amazon will axe another 9,000 jobs in second wave of cuts


Amazon is set to make 9,000 more job cuts in the second phase of its operating plan.

CEO Andy Jassy wrote a memo to staff on the company’s website confirming more job cuts following the announcement it would cut 18,000 jobs in January.

He said the move is “a difficult decision, but one that we think is best for the company long term.”

READ MORE: UK Amazon workers strike again in row over pay

His message said: “As part of our annual planning process, leaders across the company work with their teams to decide what investments they want to make for the future, prioritizing what matters most to customers and the long-term health of our businesses.

“For several years leading up to this one, most of our businesses added a significant amount of headcount.

“This made sense given what was happening in our businesses and the economy as a whole.

“However, given the uncertain economy in which we reside, and the uncertainty that exists in the near future, we have chosen to be more streamlined in our costs and headcount.

“The overriding tenet of our annual planning this year was to be leaner while doing so in a way that enables us to still invest robustly in the key long-term customer experiences that we believe can meaningfully improve customers’ lives and Amazon as a whole.”

READ MORE: Amazon could face numerous lawsuits over alleged competition law breaches

He said the company was continuing to make “re-prioritization decisions that sometimes led to role reductions” as part of the plan.

He added: “As our internal businesses evaluated what customers most care about, they made re-prioritization decisions that sometimes led to role reductions, sometimes led to moving people from one initiative to another, and sometimes led to new openings where we don’t have the right skills match from our existing team members.

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“This initially led us to eliminate 18,000 positions (which we shared in January); and, as we completed the second phase of our planning this month, it led us to these additional 9,000 role reductions (though you will see limited hiring in some of our businesses in strategic areas where we’ve prioritized allocating more resources).

“To those ultimately impacted by these reductions, I want to thank you for the work you have done on behalf of customers and the company. It’s never easy to say goodbye to our teammates, and you will be missed. To those who will continue with us, I look forward to partnering with you as we make life easier for customers every day and relentlessly inventing to do so.”

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Nebraska company hit with £531,000 in fines after worker suffocated in corn silo

CHS Inc, operating as Agri-Service Center Roseland,

A company faces a fine of more than $500,000 over the death of a man who suffocated in a corn silo.

CHS Inc, operating as Agri-Service Center Roseland, has been found guilty of disregarding federal regulations put in place to stop such incidents.

It was also found the worker’s protective equipment was not adequate for protection.

READ MORE: Dollar General hit with more fines over safety failings

The worker died on the site after the incident in September 2022.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OHSA) investigation also found the company failed to equip the employee with an adequate body harness and lifeline that co-workers could have used to rescue him.

Inspectors discovered the company kept a retractable lifeline tripod on-site, a device not designed for side entry onto grain, and had no adequate alternative method available to protect workers in silos.

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OSHA Area Director Matthew Thurlby in Omaha, Nebraska, said: “The dangers of working inside grain bins are well-known and safety standards have been in place for decades. Despite our continued outreach and enforcement activity in this highly hazardous industry, we continue to see preventable fatalities.

“Agri-Service Center Roseland should know that safety standards and proper training, procedures, and equipment can make the difference between life and death. Expediency should never be put ahead of worker safety.”

OSHA issued fines for 16 violations – two willful and 14 serious – allowing staff enter bins with grain build-up, and for failing to develop procedures for entering permit-required confined spaces, ensure emergency services were available, recognize and evaluate hazards and train workers, and implement machine safety procedures to prevent grain bin equipment from running while workers were inside bins.

The company now faces fines of $531,268.

It has also been added to the OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

Image: Google

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IT firm Wipro axes 120 employees in Tampa due to “lack of work”


Indian tech giant Wipro will cut 120 employees because they don’t have enough work to do.

The layoffs will hit processing agents, with 113 expected to be laid off on May 13.

Six team leaders will also leave the company, with the team manager departing on May 27.

Read More: Zulily carries out second round of layoffs as revenue declines

In a letter sent to Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, the company notes the cuts take place “due to a lack of work.”

Wipro says the event is a “singular occurrence” and that it stays committed to the Tampa region.

It has also confirmed that the rest of its workforce serving clients in the Tampa area is unaffected.

The layoffs are scheduled to start in May.

Read More: Atlassian will make 500 job cuts to focus on key areas

The firm recently asked campus hires if they were prepared to join the company for a lower salary, which has caused uncertainty among the selected candidates.

Wipro joined the Tampa market in 2016 when it acquired HealthPlan Services for $460 million.

In May 2022, the business signed a contract for 112,000 square feet in suburban Westshore to backfill the space ConnectWise vacated for downtown Tampa’s Park Tower.

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Information technology remains a key part of the Tampa Bay economy, with major employers spread across the region. 

Over the last five years, the IT industry in Hillsborough County has grown by 28 percent.

Wipro didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Source: The Business Journals

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Struggling John Lewis looking for new investment which could mean end of staff ownership

John Lewis

Retailing giant John Lewis may be forced to change its 100 percent employee ownership to attract new investors to keep the chain afloat.

The change in the model would represent a massive departure for the company, which operates the department store chain and the Waitrose supermarkets.

The move comes after the retailer announced a loss of £234 million due to rising costs and declining revenues last week.

There were warnings of job cuts and staff were told it will not give out bonuses for the second time since 1953.

Read More: John Lewis axes famous staff bonus after recording £234 million loss

According to The Sunday Times, its chairwoman, Dame Sharon White, is in the early stages of exploring a plan to change its mutual structure in order to raise up to £2 billion in new investment.

According to the publication, the group would prioritize maintaining majority employee ownership and would only contemplate selling a small portion of its stock.

Any decision would need to be approved by the partnership council of the retailer, which consists of around 60 employees.

Read More: John Lewis sets out plans to become ’employer of choice’ for care leavers

In another move to diversify its business operations in the face of challenging trading conditions, the company has considered entering the “build to rent” real estate market.

It struck a £500 million agreement with Abrdn, a worldwide investment firm, towards the end of the last year to help it build 1,000 additional dwellings.

The John Lewis Partnership said: “We’ve always said we would seek partnerships to help fund our transformation and exciting new homes.

Read More: John Lewis and Waitrose to hire more than 10,000 temporary staff for Christmas shopping rush

“We’ve done this with Ocado in the past and now with Abrdn.

“Our partners, who own the business, will be the first to hear about any developments.”

The business was founded by John Lewis with a small shop on Oxford Street in 1864.

Read More: John Lewis and Waitrose to cut 1000 jobs

The partnership was established more than 70 years ago by his son, John Spedan Lewis, as an experiment in a better method of conducting business by involving employees in decision-making.

The John Lewis Partnership, now employs 74,000 people and is the largest employee-owned company in the UK.

Together with its retail websites, the business operates 34 John Lewis stores, 329 Waitrose stores, and other stores.

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As part of efforts “to become more efficient and productive,” Dame Sharon warned of job losses in a letter to the employees last week.

For the fiscal year that ended in January, a loss of £78 million was reported; however, when unusual charges were included, the loss increased to $234 million.

This included the value of Waitrose outlets being written down.

John Lewis blamed the decline on “inflationary forces,” citing a drop from a £181 million profit the prior year.

SourceSky News

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Disney managers asked to make lists of staff to be cut as 4,000 layoffs loom

Walt Disney office

Disney managers have reportedly been told to prepare the lists of employees to be cut as part of its ongoing push for profitability.

The latest layoffs are expected to affect nearly 4,000 jobs, with the remaining cuts coming from open roles.

A source said managers must compile the list for layoffs by April.

Read More: Facebook parent Meta plans for another 10,000 layoffs

Managers have also been assigned targets for budget cuts along with headcount reduction.

It’s not known whether Disney will eliminate staff in smaller rounds over a longer period or lay off thousands at once.

On his first day back at the firm in November, CEO Bob Iger announced plans to dissolve the centralized content and distribution unit DMED.

He also confirmed plans to cut 7,000 jobs on the company’s February earnings call.

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Most of the latest cuts will come from content spending on TV and movies, with the remainder from marketing and other non-content areas.

Disney is cutting costs as it realigns the management of its global linear and streaming assets and its movie business and reconsiders theme park pricing

In February, Iger said in February that Disney would be divided into three branches: Entertainment, ESPN, and Parks, Experiences, and Products.

Disney did not respond to a request for comment.

Source: Insider

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Aldi store assistants’ latest rise means pay has increased by 13 percent in a year


Aldi will hike the starting pay for store assistants to a minimum of £11.40 per hour nationally and £12.85 within the M25.

The new £11.40 rate comes into effect on July 1 and is more than 13 percent higher than it was a year ago, according to the German grocer.

The increase will benefit over 28,000 store colleagues, bringing Aldi’s total pay investment in the last year to more than £100 million.

Read More: Aldi to create over 6,000 new roles across the UK in 2023

Tthe latest announcement comes comes after Aldi announced a series of pay increases, including raising hourly rates for 7,000 warehouse colleagues across the UK in January.

Aldi UK and Ireland chief executive Giles Hurley said: “We believe our colleagues are the best in the sector and we are committed to ensuring they are also the best paid.

“We are incredibly proud of every single member of Team Aldi and are pleased to become the first UK supermarket to pay a minimum of £11.40 per hour to all Store Assistants.”

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Aldi announced plans last month to create over 6,000 new jobs this year, following the addition of 4,500 permanent positions in 2022.

The supermarket employs over 40,000 people and operates over 990 stores in the United Kingdom.

SourceRetail Gazette

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UBS agrees ’emergency rescue’ of Credit Suisse


Rival Swiss bank UBS has stepped in to save the struggling Credit Suisse.

The decision was made on Sunday evening following a weekend of urgent discussions between the two banks and the Swiss financial regulators.

The arrangement, according to the Swiss National Bank, was the most effective approach to find a way of controlling economic risks and to regain market trust.

Read More: Credit Suisse accepts $54 billion lifeline

The Bank of England said it welcomed the “comprehensive set of actions”.

Shareholders of Credit Suisse were not allowed to vote on the transaction, and they will get one share of UBS for every 22.48 shares they already possess, valuing the bank at $3.15 billion (£2.6 billion).

By Friday’s business closing, Credit Suisse was worth approximately $8 billion (£6.5 billion).

Read More: Credit Suisse plans massive job cuts affecting 9,000 employees

Regulators were able to get a result before the start of the financial markets on Monday thanks to the agreement.

Switzerland’s central bank said “a solution has been found to secure financial stability and protect the Swiss economy in this exceptional situation”.

The federal government announced that it will provide UBS with a $9.6 billion (£7.9 billion) guarantee against any losses in order to lower any risks.

Read More: Credit Suisse to Pay Nearly $475 Million to U.S. and U.K. Authorities

Up to $110 billion (£90 billion) in liquidity support has also been provided by the Swiss central bank.

International financial institutions praised the agreement.

The Bank of England said it welcomed the “comprehensive set of actions” set out by the Swiss authorities.

“We have been engaging closely with international counterparts throughout the preparations for today’s announcements and will continue to support their implementation.”

Read More: Citigroup raises pay for most of its junior bankers at a time of mass layoffs

It said the UK banking system was “well capitalised and funded, and remains safe and sound”.

The UK Treasury also said it hailed the merger and the British government would continue to involve with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England “as is usual”.

The FCA said on Sunday it was “minded to approve” the takeover to support financial stability as both UBS and Credit Suisse have operations in London.

“The FCA continues to engage closely with UK and international regulatory partners to monitor market developments,” the watchdog said.

Read More: German bank Berenberg cuts 55 jobs from its London office

Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, also praised the “swift action” of the Swiss authorities.

“They are instrumental in restoring orderly market conditions and ensuring financial stability.

Ms. Lagarde said: “The euro area banking sector is resilient, with strong capital and liquidity positions,”.

The US reiterated the president of the European Central Bank’s remarks.

Both Federal Reserve Board chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stated that the Swiss government’s action supported “financial stability”.

“The capital and liquidity positions of the US banking system are strong, and the US financial system is resilient”, they said.

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Following the news on Sunday night, UBS chairman Colm Kelleher stated that Credit Suisse was a “really excellent asset we are keen to maintain.”

He said: “This acquisition is attractive for UBS shareholders but, let us be clear, as far as Credit Suisse is concerned, this is an emergency rescue,”

According to Mr. Kelleher, UBS would eliminate Credit Suisse’s investment banking division.

The UBS chairman said it was “too early” to say what would happen about jobs: “We need to do this in a rational way thoughtfully, when we’ve sat down and analysed what we need to do,”.

The weekend agreement comes after the Swiss National Bank’s emergency $54 billion (£44.5 billion) rescue on Wednesday failed to calm the markets, as Credit Suisse shares fell 24 percent, sparking a larger sell-off on European markets.

The 167-year-old bank is losing money and has recently dealt with a number of issues, including accusations of money laundering.


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Heathrow Airport security staff to hold 10-day strike over Easter


British Airways passengers will face mayhem and long delays at Heathrow Airport this Easter after security workers voted in favour of a 10-day strike.

The strike will hit passengers flying in and out of Terminal 5 from March 31 to April 9.

1,500 security personnel, including those who check passengers and their luggage as they pass through to departures, will go on strike.

British Airways passengers will be the most affected, as the terminal only serves flights operated by the airline.

Read More: Passport Office staff to hold five weeks of strikes in row over pay and working conditions

Campus security guards who are responsible for checking cargo across the airport will also be on strike, according to Unite the Union.

Heathrow said it would put in place contingency plans to keep parts of the airport open and operational.

The strikes follow the announcement passport workers are also to take part in a five-week strike in the run-up to the summer holidays, putting additional strain on travellers and mirroring the chaos seen last year.

Read More: Google staff in Switzerland go on strike as job cuts hit Europe

More than 1,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union working in passport offices in England, Scotland, and Wales will strike over pay, jobs, and conditions from April 3 to May 5.

Workers in Durham, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Newport, Peterborough, and Southport will go on strike from April 3 to May 5.

The union called the walkouts a “significant escalation” of its long-running dispute.

It warned it was likely to have a “significant impact” on the delivery of passports as the summer approaches.

Read More: Teachers, junior doctors and Tube staff hold strikes on Budget day

It comes as demand for international holidays has recovered to pre-pandemic levels.

A poll of 2,000 adults conducted by the travel association ABTA, showed two-thirds of Britons are planning a foreign vacation in the next month, with more than a third (37 percent) having already booked one.

Read More: More NHS strikes as thousands of junior doctors walkout over pay

The strike coincides with passport office officials expecting a similar surge in demand this year compared to 2022 when travellers postponed renewing their documents during Covid.

360,000 people had to wait longer than the standard 10-week period.

Passport office officials are preparing contingency plans and remain firm in their prediction that applicants will receive their documents within 10 weeks.

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Mark Serwotka, the PCS general secretary, said: “This escalation of our action has come about because, in sharp contrast with other parts of the public sector, ministers have failed to hold any meaningful talks with us, despite two massive strikes and sustained, targeted action lasting six months.”

A Downing Street spokesman said: “The Home Office will work hard to manage the impact of this strike action to ensure they can still provide the vital service to the British public as you would expect ahead of the summer where we fully acknowledge that many people will want to get away and enjoy the summer with their family.

“So we will do everything we can to mitigate the impact of the strikes.”

SourceThe Telegraph

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Google employees demand better treatment in a petition to CEO


Google employees have handed a petition to the tech giant’s CEO calling for better staff treatment after the recent mass layoffs.

More than 1,400 staff signed the petition, and made several demands of boss Sundar Pichai.

The petition includes pausing recruitment, conducting voluntary redundancies before compulsory ones, and prioritizing terminated staff for open positions.

Read More: Facebook parent Meta plans for another 10,000 layoffs

They also demand to let workers complete scheduled periods of paid time off, such as parental and bereavement leave.

The staff also want Alphabet to stop firing workers from countries with active conflicts or humanitarian crises like Ukraine.

They also mention offering additional support to those who risk losing their visa-linked residency and their jobs.

The letter said: “The impacts of Alphabet’s decision to reduce its workforce are global.

“Nowhere have workers’ voices adequately been considered, and we know that as workers we are stronger together than alone.”

Read More: Google employees cuts staff promotions as a way of saving money

The petition comes after Alphabet confirmed plans to cut six percent of its workforce in January amid investor pressure to curtail expenses in the post-pandemic downturn.

Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are among the major players that have slashed headcounts in recent months following years of expansion and hiring.

When Pichai announced the sweeping 12,000 job losses, he took “full responsibility” and said the company had hired for a “different economic reality than the one we face today.”

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Some Google workers, particularly in the US, were let go immediately.

The process has been much slower for those in countries with stronger labor protections, especially in Europe.

The letter was organized by a group of workers backed by unions, including the Alphabet Workers Union, United Tech and Allied Workers, and UNI Global. 

The staff would distribute the petition for a few more days before submitting a physical copy to Pichai at Google’s Mountain View, California headquarters.

Alphabet’s spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to requests for comments.

Source: Bloomberg

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