Amazon brings 500 jobs to Whitby with new sorting centre

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Published April 19, 2022 at 4:11 pm

This Bolton location resembles the Whitby Fulfillment Centre.

Amazon continues its expansion across Durham Region with an announcement today (Apr 13) that 500 people in Whitby will soon join the retail colossus’ workforce in a new sorting centre.

The sort centre, dubbed YMH6, is set to be built in the Conlin Rd and Gerrard Rd industrial area, now home to a Storage Depot Durham Region Works Department and another Amazon facility.

Per Amazon, YMH6 is set to ease their distribution across eastern Ontario to increase the speed and efficiency of their deliveries.

“The Whitby sort centre is an important part of Amazon’s commitment to local growth in Durham,” said John Benson, General Manager of Canada Sort Centre Operations. “Sort centres are an integral part of our middle-mile supply chain.”

“They help communities receive packages more quickly and efficiently, create great-quality jobs and enhance our logistics capabilities in a region,” Benson continued.

The 700,000 square foot centre, set to be the largest of its kind in the province, will open in 2023.

“With this Whitby sort centre, Amazon has made it clear they intend to grow their presence in Durham Region. This is yet another example of major companies investing in Durham—further cementing us one of the best places in Ontario to invest,” John Henry said.

Amazon has burrowed heavily into Durham Region over the last few years. They opened the Whitby Delivery Centre in 2020 to accommodate the “last mile” of deliveries to the Region, meaning the driver in the Amazon van bringing packages to doorsteps.

Another facility opened in Ajax last year as well, delivering 1,000 new jobs to the town. Mayor Shaun Collier expressed this as a major win for the town in his Live with the Mayor Address last winter. With this fulfillment center Amazon became one of the town’s largest employers.

Finally, 200 new positions will be open when Amazon converts the old Pickering Markets (now Oshawa Markets) into a delivery station.

In addition to the Whitby location Amazon will build five new facilities including;

  • Hamilton – Robotics Sortable Fulfillment Centre
  • Ottawa – Robotics Sortable Fulfillment Centre
  • Richmond Hill – Delivery Station
  • Southwold – Fulfillment Centre

Amazon’s expansion into Ontario has brought 20 facilities, $1.5 billion in investments and 9,000 new jobs.

While Amazon has undoubtedly created a great number of jobs over the last few years, the quality of this positions is more debatable. Amazon scores a 3.8 on Glassdoor and a 3.5 on Indeed by employees.

This is a physically demanding job. You are on your feet for 10 hours a shift,” reads one such review from Whitby, “Your nights go by fairly quick, not a lot of time to stand around. Constantly things to be done.”

“The lack of communication from management to the associates is laughable,” the anonymous worker continues, “The lack of communication from Amazon to its associates is horrible.”

A more positive five star review came out of the Ajax location, but Amazon has been known to have fake positive worker reviews.

American Amazon warehouse workers are almost twice as likely to be injured on the job, according to statistics the retailer has to submit to OSHA. The industry average was around 4.0 out of 100 workers suffering an at-work accident. At Amazon that rate was 7.7 in 100.

Workers also tend not to last in Amazon facilities either. The gruelling workplaces and demanding quotas (such a scanning 1,800 Amazon packages an hour) often drive workers out after days or weeks, per a New York Times investigation. Last year Amazon saw a turn over rate of 150 per cent. The retailer lost 3 per cent of its total workforce per week.

Anyone looking to work for Amazon can get updates on new positions via their website.

 

 

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