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No layoffs for Turlock Amazon center
Turlock Amazon outside
There are no layoffs expected for the Turlock Amazon center, in fact they are still hiring (Journal file photo).

Less than a month after Turlock celebrated the grand opening of an Amazon fulfillment center, the multinational technology, entertainment and online mega-retailer was reported to be planning for thousands of employee layoffs.

Amazon is aiming to eliminate about 10,000 jobs, mostly in retail, devices and human resources, The New York Times reported Monday.

The number remains fluid because the cuts are being implemented by individual teams, according to the Times. But if it stays around 10,000, it would represent roughly 3 percent of Amazon’s corporate employees and less than 1 percent of its global work force of more than 1.5 million, which is primarily composed of hourly workers.

The good news is that the layoffs will not affect the Turlock site.

"MCE1 in Turlock is still ramping up and still hiring," said Nicole Banke, part of Amazon's workplace public relations team. "We're on track to hire 1,500 by early next year."

Amazon opened last month with 200 to 300 employees and is expected to bring on that many seasonal workers. The Turlock facility is the second in Stanislaus County — a plant in Patterson that employs about 600 people opened in 2013 — and, as of October, was less than 10 percent stocked.   It should be operating at full capacity by mid-February, according to Senior Operations Manager Steve Ramirez. The warehouse is in operation around the clock, seven days a week. The starting wage for a worker at the Turlock facility is just shy of $19 per hour.

On the same day of the Times layoff report, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced he will give away the majority of his wealth during his lifetime.

Bezos, whose “real-time” worth Forbes magazine estimates at roughly $124.1 billion, made the announcement in a joint CNN interview with his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez that was released on Monday. The billionaire didn't specify how - or to whom - he will give away the money, but said the couple were building the “capacity” to do it.

Bezos stepped down as Amazon CEO last year to devote more time to philanthropy and other projects. Among other donations, he's pledged $10 billion to fight climate change as part of his Bezos Earth Fund initiative. Last year, he gave $510.7 million to charity, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

On Saturday, Bezos and Sanchez announced they will give a no-strings-attached $100 million grant to singer Dolly Parton, who's been praised for her philanthropic work that helped create the Moderna vaccine for COVID-19.

— Journal reporter Joe Cortez and the Associated Press contributed to this report.