Amazon has started hiring for a large new fulfillment center set to open at the end of May in Oak Cliff.
The center is expected to generate more than 1500 new jobs that bring with them medical benefits and wages at or above $15 an hour.
“This time right now, a thousand jobs is very important, people want to go back to work and I think it is the right time and right opportunity,” Dallas City Councilman Tennell Atkins said.
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Atkins chairs Dallas’ Economic Development Committee and views the new fulfillment center as a big win for an area of Dallas that even before COVID-19, had struggled with unemployment.
But Amazon is currently facing nationwide scrutiny after multiple fulfillment center workers have contracted COVID-19. Protests have taken place in some cities and employees have expressed concern that not enough has been done to protect them.
“I think that it (new center) can be beneficial but I would also challenge Amazon to change some of its ways and the way it treats some of its employees, the way it values its employees,” Taylor Toynes, a co-founder of “For Oak Cliff” said.
Toynes, a community activist and Oak Cliff resident believes the new jobs can be a valuable asset when it comes to reducing unemployment but insists it is vital to hold Amazon accountable. In recent weeks, Amazon said it has spent $800 million cleaning its facilities and upgrading protective measures.
“We want people to be safe, that’s number one but we want people to go back to work because they want to go back to work to pay their bills,” Atkins said.
NBC 5 reached out to Amazon who declined a request for an interview.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.