Wednesday, January 31, 2001
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Posted on: Wednesday, January 31, 2001 gives 1,300 walking papers

USA Today

Web retailer announced yesterday that it will slash 1,300 jobs — 15 percent of its work force — in a bid to cut costs in the face of continuing losses.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, Seattle-based lost $545 million, or $1.53 a share, compared with $323 million, or 96 cents a share, in the year-ago period, the company reported after the market closed.

Excluding one-time items and goodwill, lost $90.4 million, or 25 cents a share, for the quarter compared with $185 million, or 55 cents a share, last year.

Analysts were expecting a loss of 26 cents a share.

The Seattle-based retailer saw fourth-quarter sales grow 44 percent. Sales were $972 million vs. $676 million a year earlier.

Amazon will close a distribution center in McDonough, Ga., and a customer-service center in Seattle.

The 400 Seattle customer-service center workers, who had been attempting to organize a union, will be let go by May 25.

The company offered to move the workers to facilities in either North Dakota or West Virginia and said the closing is unrelated to union-organizing efforts.

But Marcus Courtney, co-founder of WashTech, a Seattle affiliate of the Communications Workers of America, said the labor organization will call for a government investigation of whether targeted workers seeking a voice on the job. spokesman Bill Curry said "the Seattle customer-service center was the most expensive to operate."’s distribution center in Seattle will operate only seasonally.

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