As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Amazon announced it would cut 9,000 additional corporate jobs across multiple business units, including its highly profitable cloud-computing and advertising businesses.  

CEO Andy Jassy said the company added a significant number of employees in recent years, which has led to the continued need to trim down in a different economic environment than the one that existed during the pandemic.  

The company had previously announced it would cut 18,000 jobs.  

“Given the uncertain economy in which we reside, and the uncertainty that exists in the near future, we have chosen to be more streamlined in our costs and head count,” Jassy said, noting that the layoffs come after Amazon completed its annual planning process. 

Waves of job cuts have roiled the tech industry. Amazon is the latest company to enact more job cuts than previously expected. Last week, Facebook parent Meta said it would slash roughly 10,000 jobs over the coming months, its second wave of mass layoffs. 

Jassy said the 9,000 additional job cuts weren’t announced earlier because some teams hadn’t completed assessments that determined which positions needed to be eliminated. He said the cuts would be completed by mid- to late April. Amazon had about 1.5 million employees worldwide at the end of December. It employed about 350,000 corporate workers before its recent layoffs. 

France Moves Forward with Raising the Retirement Age  

As reported by CNN, French President Emmanuel Macron survived two no-confidence votes in the country’s parliament, clearing the way for his unpopular pension reforms, which raise the retirement age to 64 from 62 for most workers.  

Lawmakers critical of the move called the no-confidence votes that were held on Monday. 

The first motion was brought forward by the small parliamentary group “LIOT,” which represents various small parties, and was seen as the most likely of the two to threaten the government. It received 278 votes – just nine short of the 287 majority needed to pass. 

The second vote — tabled last week by far-right party National Rally — drew less support, with only 94 lawmakers voting in favor. 

The opposition is now looking to appeal to France’s constitutional council, the highest constitutional body in the country, in order to block part or all of the law. The council would have up to a month to consider any objections to the legislation. 

Meanwhile, popular anger against the reforms shows no sign of ending, with protestors gathering in central Paris following the votes and clashing with police. 

With one of the lowest retirement ages in the industrialized world, France also spends more than most other countries on pensions at nearly 14% of economic output, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation. 

The government argues that the current system — relying on the working population to pay for a growing age group of retirees — is no longer viable.  

Biden Issues First Veto on Bill Overturning ESG Retirement Investment Rule  

As reported by CNN, President Joe Biden issued the first veto of his presidency Monday on a resolution to overturn a retirement investment rule that allows managers of retirement funds to consider the impact of climate change and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors when picking investments. 

Republican lawmakers led the push to pass the resolution through Congress, arguing the rule is “woke” policy that pushes a liberal agenda on Americans and will hurt retirees’ bottom lines, while Democrats say it’s not about ideology and will help investors. 

The resolution, which would rescind a Department of Labor rule, passed both chambers of Congress with Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana voting with Republicans in the Senate. 

“I just signed this veto because legislation passed by the Congress would put at risk the retirement savings of individuals across the country. They couldn’t take into consideration investments that wouldn’t be impacted by climate, impacted by overpaying executives, and that’s why I decided to veto it — it makes sense to veto it,” Biden said in a video posted to social media Monday afternoon. 

Opponents of the rule could try to override Biden’s veto, but at this point it appears unlikely they could get the two-thirds majority needed in each chamber to do so. 

Prior to the bill passage that overturned the DOL rule, it faced significant pushback at the state level from Republican-led states as well.  

Accenture to Cut 19,000 Jobs 

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Accenture PLC is cutting about 19,000 jobs, or 2.5% of the professional services company’s workforce, as it looks to slash costs and streamline operations.  

Accenture told the Journal that most of the employees expected to be affected will be in nonbillable corporate roles. The company said it is still hiring elsewhere.  

The company said it expects its business-optimization plan to cost about $1.5 billion, mostly from employee severance during the remainder of the current fiscal year and fiscal 2024. 

The cuts contribute to a wave of layoffs in recent months as companies across technology, manufacturing and other sectors look to cut costs amid uncertainty about rising interest rates, persistent inflation and other economic challenges. 

The news from Accenture came after the company earlier Thursday reported a 5% rise in quarterly revenue and better-than-expected earnings. 

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