AUSTIN, Texas — Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon hasn't slowed down on delivering products or building facilities to help meet demand. With the holiday season coming up, the company announced it plans to hire an additional 100,000 full and part-time employees throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Of those, 1,700 are in the Austin metro area.
"We’re always investing when it comes to supporting customers, so we’ve opened 75 new fulfillment centers, sortation centers and delivery stations like this one this year," said Amazon Spokesperson Betsy Harden, who gave KVUE an inside look at their delivery station in South Austin on Monday. "And we’ll be opening several hundred more before the year is over to help serve our customers during the peak holiday season."
Fifteen Amazon buildings are opening in Texas this year, including several in the Austin-Round Rock metro area.
Amazon announced in July that it would be opening a fulfillment center in 2021 in Pflugerville, creating 1,000 new jobs. The company also announced it would hire 200 people to work in a facility in Kyle. Two delivery stations are also planned in Buda and Round Rock.
"We’re really proud to be creating jobs here in Austin and around Texas. You know, we know it’s a hard time still right now with the pandemic, a lot of people are out of work. So, we’re really excited to be bringing these jobs here to Austin and, you know, we’re always looking to expand our operations," Harden said.
In a recent article published by "Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting," safety concerns in Amazon warehouses were brought to light.
A spokesperson for Amazon provided KVUE with the following statement:
“Safety is the top priority, and we have processes to help ensure the proper reporting of recordable injuries within our fulfillment centers. We conduct independent audits of our safety records and reporting procedures every month, provide a hotline that employees can call to anonymously report any workplace concerns, and allow employees to choose between seeing their own doctors or using on-site medical care, just to name a few. While any serious incident is one too many, we learn and improve our programs to prevent future incidents. We are proud of safety record and thousands of Amazonians work hard every day innovating ways to make it even better. We encourage anyone to come see for themselves by taking a tour at one of our fulfillment centers.”
Amazon has also implemented a list of safety measures in its facilities regarding COVID-19 including enhanced social distancing, screening employees for their temperature and cameras called the Distance Assistant, which ensure workers are six feet apart.
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