MEXICO CITY: A photo of a sprawling new Amazon fulfillment centre in Tijuana, Mexico, surrounded by deteriorating housing has gone viral as the tech giant continues to expand its footprint internationally
The photographer Omar Martinez captured images of the warehouse, which show a stark contrast between Amazon’s crisp, white facility and the crumbling shacks around it.
Martinez shared the location of the warehouse about three miles south of the US-Mexico border. The pictures are being shared widely and discussed on social media.
Marisa Vano, an Amazon spokesperson, said that “the upcoming opening of our Fulfillment Center in Tijuana” would create “more than 250 jobs in the area.”
Pay at Amazon’s US warehouses starts at $15 an hour, and the company regularly touts what it says are competitive health-insurance and retirement benefits at its centers, including the Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse where employees voted not to unionize earlier this year.
For some areas with new warehouses such as in Davenport, Iowa, economists said Amazon’s competitive wages could force local retailers to match that pay, which could lower employment rates since that limits how many people they can employ. The economists added that jobs needed to be high-paying for communities to see long-term economic growth.
A report from the Economic Policy Institute in 2018 found that while there was a 30% increase in storage and warehouse jobs where a new Amazon warehouse went up, there wasn’t always an overall increase in employment in the areas.
The report said, “that some sort of employment displacement is taking place, or that the growth in warehousing jobs is too limited to spill over into broad-based employment gains for the overall local economy.” In 2018, The Economist similarly reported that Amazon often paid its fulfillment-center workers less than other employers did.
Amazon entered the Mexican marketplace in 2015, a move that would help the company compete with its fellow e-commerce giant Walmart. Amazon now has five fulfillment centres in the country.
It announced last year that it was spending $100 million on new warehouses in Mexico to improve delivery speeds. Two fulfillment centers will be set up in Monterrey and in Guadalajara, which are two of the largest metro areas in the country, and the company will have at least 27 delivery stations scattered across Mexico.
Mexico State Governor Alfredo Del Mazo Maza said Amazon’s expansion would help counteract pandemic-driven economic fallout in the country, according to Mexico News Daily.
“Amazon has become one of the principal allies and a strategic partner in the economic recovery and the fulfillment of objectives that have been laid out by the current administration to improve the level of well-being of Mexican families,” the governor said.