Amazon Canada plans to hire hundreds amid pandemic

The retailer is recruiting associates who 'thrive in a fast-paced environment'

Amazon Canada plans to hire hundreds amid pandemic

Amazon is hiring more than 700 workers in Alberta as it prepares to open three new buildings and ramps up delivery services across the province.

The online retail giant said it is looking for full-time warehouse associates who can “thrive in a fast-paced environment that involves working with and around moving machinery” as they package and ship out customer orders.

New hires to be assigned at the upcoming fulfilment centre will earn hourly wages of $16 or more, and will receive six weeks of paid parental leave along with continuing education and career growth opportunities, Amazon announced this week.

Read more: Amazon's heavily automated HR leaves workers in sick-leave limbo

More than 600 of the vacancies will be for the one-million-square-foot Nisku warehouse south of Edmonton, but other openings are available in Calgary.

Amazon has provided candidates with a snapshot of the physical demands and environment of its fulfilment centres: shifts purportedly last up to 12 hours and entail pushing, bending, reaching, working from a height of up to 40 feet and operating machinery such as forklifts and hand trucks.

“Flexibility is key: associates should be open to working voluntary and mandatory extra hours and willing to work at a fast pace,” the company said.

“You’ll be on the move for your whole shift. Your shifts will include standing in one place for extended periods, walking around the facility, and climbing stairs.”

Plans for the hiring spree were announced as early as June 2019 when Vibhore Arora, Amazon’s director of regional operations, promised Canadians a “long-term future” with the online retailer. The Nisku warehouse is the eleventh fulfilment centre in Canada.

Read more: Amazon to create thousands of jobs at robotic mega warehouse

The company said it has also invested US$800m in improving health and safety measures across worksites amid the COVID-19 pandemic. These include testing workers for SARS-CoV-2, regularly checking their temperature, requiring them to wear masks and gloves, and installing additional handwashing stations and thermal scanners throughout the facilities.

Apart from the recruitment drive in Canada, Amazon will also be hiring thousands of tech-savvy workers at a new robotic warehouse in Sydney, Australia.

“They’re new smart technology jobs. They’re not the traditional warehouse jobs that we’ve seen in the past,” said Stuart Ayres, Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney.

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