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Amazon adds 5,000 warehouse workers in the US

Shiny new faces at 'fulfillment centers' just in time for President Obama's visit

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Amazon yesterday announced a raft of new jobs in the US ahead of today's visit today from President Barack Obama to one of its distribution warehouses.

The mega-etailer has come up with 5,000 full-time positions at 17 of its so-called "fulfillment centers", a 25 per cent increase on warehouse staff, which it says currently stands at 20,000.

Amazon claims that median pay in the warehouses is 30 per cent higher than what folks get in traditional retail stores in the States.

Not all workers are happy with their life as Amazonian stackers and packers, however. The company has faced three strikes in Germany from staff who claim that Amazon won't let them negotiate across sites in Bad Hersfeld and Leipzig for a blanket deal on pay and benefits. The workers are also looking for higher basic pay and larger bonuses for the night shift.

President Obama is due to visit a warehouse in Tennessee, one of the sites where some of the new jobs will be available, to deliver a speech on jobs in the US today.

White House Press secretary Josh Earnest said yesterday that the new jobs from Amazon were "the kind of investment that we're starting to see more of".

The spokesman added: "If we can put in place policies that will encourage companies to invest in America to bring back jobs from overseas, if we can invest in the kind of infrastructure that's required to allow companies to get products to market more quickly or to their customers more quickly, that's certainly something that we want to encourage." ®

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