With Amazon realising it has more employees than it requires — having hired more during the demand surge due to the pandemic, and to fill the gaps created by employees getting infected and falling ill, and going on leave — it has laid off about a lakh of employees from its workforce.
The fear of recession and the rising inflation have only added to the uncertainties. The employees at the fulfilment centres and those part of the distribution network have been most impacted.
The Company also plans to go slow on hiring, henceforth, like so many other firms.
While Amazon still has a 15 lakh- strong workforce, it admits that the rate at which it has been hiring has been the slowest in about four years.
Last year, Amazon had reduced net headcount by 27,000. Then, it had hired many people in the first quarter when the omicron variant was creating a havoc. This year, in the first quarter, it had hired about 14,000 more.
Now with pandemic having waned, it realises that the excess staff is adversely affecting productivity.
Amazon workers have been in the news for some time now. A few weeks ago, the workers at one of the warehouses revealed how closely their work was monitored and inspected in great detail. They were always under tremendous pressure to be accurate and quick in their work. They were issued disciplinary notices even if the minutest of errors was found in the work. They were warned that if these errors occurred six times in a year, they would be terminated.