Global HR headlines: No special leave for anti-vaxxers, Amazon goes global on recruitment

Labour shortage and higher costs driving an automation wave in the US.

Amazon plans a big global recruitment drive as the pandemic fuels online services, while companies in the US signal the start of an automation wave in the service sector. Labour union calls on shareholders to reject ‘double-dipping’ on CEO pay and American Airlines removes special Covid-19 quarantine leave.

Amazon on global recruitment drive for 55,000 staff
Amazon is planning to hire 55,000 staff in corporate and technology jobs in a global recruitment drive as the Covid-19 pandemic fuels a boom in online retail, digital advertising and cloud computing.

Against a backdrop of soaring demand for online shopping and nationwide staff shortages, the firm also plans to hire more staff across its network of UK fulfilment centres. However, the bulk of the positions will be created in the US, where the firm plans to create 40,000 roles. About 2,500 will be created in the UK, with the remainder in India, Germany and Japan, reports The Guardian.

Automation wave in the US
The pandemic didn't just threaten Americans' health when it slammed the US in 2020 ­- it may also pose a long-term threat to many of their jobs. Faced with worker shortages and higher labour costs, companies are starting to automate service sector jobs that economists once considered safe, assuming that machines couldn't easily provide the human contact they believed customers would demand.

Past experience suggests that such automation waves eventually create more jobs than they destroy, but that they also disproportionately wipe out fewer skilled jobs that many low-income workers depend on, according to a report published by AP.

Labour union call on shareholders to reject ‘double-dipping’
Teamsters labour union is calling on FedEx Corp shareholders to reject founder and CEO Fred Smith's $54 million (R770 million) pay package because the logistics company gave him stock options after scrapping a cash bonus in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, only to reinstate it later.

The union argued in a letter to shareholders, which was seen by Reuters, that this amounted to “double-dipping” – a practice that undercuts the pay-for-performance structure of Smith's compensation, The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, is bargaining on behalf of FedEx employees at a freight facility and is an investor in FedEx through pension and benefit funds.

No more special leave for Covid-19 quarantine
American Airlines will not provide special leave from next month to unvaccinated employees who have to quarantine due to Covid-19.

Unvaccinated workers will have to use their sick time or medical leave if they miss work due to the disease. “Given there is an FDA-approved vaccine, pandemic leave will only be offered to team members who are fully vaccinated and who provide their vaccination card to us,” the carrier said in a memo to staff, said Reuters.