Amazon says Hamilton will get 1,500 jobs at retail giant’s advanced robotics facility


Published April 19, 2022 at 9:59 pm

Amazon associates Louise Engalan De Los Santos, left, and Olga Kim speak to the advanced robotics technology at Amazon fulfillment centre YHM1 (CNW Group/Amazon Canada).

Amazon Canada, which is expanding across southern and eastern Ontario, marked the opening of its newest advanced robotics facility fulfillment centre in Hamilton.

The retail colossus says the facility on Upper James Street, adjacent to to John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport, will create 1,500 new jobs. Employees at the YHM1 facility will receive comprehensive benefits and career development opportunities.

It is part of a Canadian expansion that is planned over the next two years that will also include sorting centres in Ottawa, Southwold and Whitby. Per Amazon, its expansion in Ontario from last year through the end of next year will involve 19 new facilities and 7,500 jobs.

“It has meant a great deal to the residents of Hamilton, and also to those who work hard every day to bring economic development opportunities closer to home,” Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger said in a statement posted by CNW Group on behalf of Amazon Canada. “On behalf of Hamilton (city council), congratulations to Amazon on your expansion projects throughout Ontario, and thank you to the provincial government for your ongoing support.”

While Amazon’s record on creating quantities of jobs is evident, quality is an open question. Amazon scores a 3.8 on Glassdoor and a 3.5 on Indeed by employees, out of 5 stars. Employee turnover is also reportedly as high as 150 per cent annually.

“On behalf of all residents of Hamilton, I am very happy to welcome Amazon to our community,” said Donna Skelly, Ontario PC Party MPP for Flamborough—Glanbrook. “It has been my pleasure to work hand-in-hand with the Amazon team every step of the way to bring jobs and investments to Hamilton.”

The arrival of Amazon has also factored into Cargojet expanding its operations at the Hamilton airport.

While Hamilton has a strong history of union involvement, there are no union shops in Amazon Canada’s operations.

Earlier this month, the first successful U.S. union drive in Amazon’s history happened in Staten Island, N.Y.. That has spurred a second attempt by Teamsters Canada to organize a Nisku, Alta., warehouse, near Edmonton.

To celebrate the robotics facility opening, Amazon Canada presented a donation of $25,000 to FIRST Robotics Canada, an organization focused on engaging young people in mentor-based programs that build STEM skills. The company’s donation will help FIRST Robotics support 10 schools and programs. Those include St. Mary Secondary School in Hamilton, Chinguacousy SS in Brampton, St. Joseph SS in Mississauga, and the Inverse Paradox Community Team in Mississauga.

The other schools are in Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec.

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