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January 31, 2020 9:45 AM, EST

Amazon Offers New Jobs to Employees in Pinnacle's 1,600-Person Layoff

A jet plane takes off from BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport in November 2019.A jet plane takes off from BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport in November 2019. (Joshua McKerrow/Capital Gazette)

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An aviation and trucking company that operates out of BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport will lay off more than 1,600 people this spring, and Amazon has offered all hourly employees jobs at the same location.

Pinnacle Logistics filed a Work Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN, notice with the Maryland Department of Labor on Jan. 15 announcing 1,609 layoffs effective in April. Amazon, meanwhile, has sought to boost its presence at the Maryland airport recently.

“Amazon has been an active member of the Baltimore area business community for several years, and are excited to grow our direct employee base in the area to now include our Baltimore Regional Air Hub,” Amazon spokeswoman Rena Lunak said in an email to The Capital. “The hourly Pinnacle Logistics employees have been offered roles as an Amazon associate at their current location.”

Lunak did not answer questions related to the fate of salaried employees. Amazon has grown its presence in Baltimore with a $36 million, 200,000-square-foot warehouse, and Pinnacle Logistics is a contractor with the company, according to reporting by Business Insider.

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The Department of Labor requires companies with more than 100 employees to file a WARN notice at least 60 days ahead of a plant closure or mass layoff affecting more than 50 people at a single site.

Pinnacle Logistics is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. The company could not be reached for comment Jan. 30.

“Advance notice gives workers and their families some transition time to adjust to the prospective loss of employment, to seek and obtain other jobs, and if necessary, to enter skill training or retraining that will allow these workers to compete successfully in the job market,” according to the Department of Labor’s website.

Jerry Walker, president of the Anne Arundel County’s Economic Development Corporation, said Workforce Development and the Department of Labor typically meet with affected workers and try to help them find new jobs.

The role of the county’s Economic Development Corporation after a WARN notice is more focused on real estate, Walker said. When asked about Amazon’s business in the county, Walker declined to comment.

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