retail news in context, analysis with attitude

•  The Wall Street Journal reports that "Amazon.com said it plans to add 125,000 employees in the U.S. and has lifted its average starting wage as it continues to rapidly expand its vast warehouse operations in a tight labor market.

"The tech giant on Tuesday said it has opened more than 250 facilities this year and plans to open another 100 across the country in September, deepening its pool of locations used to store, sort and ship its packages.  It said it has lifted pay for workers in such facilities to an average of $18.32 an hour as it seeks to fill those locations and replace workers who leave existing jobs. That follows a move in April to increase wages between 50 cents and $3 an hour for more than 500,000 employees."


•  Reuters reports that "workers at an Amazon.com Inc. facility in the Canadian province of Alberta have filed a request with the provincial labor board to carry out a union vote … in a new challenge to the e-commerce giant that has expanded rapidly without the formation of workers' unions.


• The CBC reports that "Amazon Canada says it is hiring up to 15,000 more people in Canada and will boost the pay for its front-line workers to up to $21.65 an hour.

"The e-commerce giant announced in a media release Monday morning that the hiring spree would boost its Canadian head count by about 60 per cent.

"The wage hikes are immediate and will be for all current full-time and part-time staff, as well as new hires."