Amazon confirms what we all knew: Fulfillment center coming to Shakopee


We've known it for months, but Amazon Thursday publicly confirmed that, yes, it is building an 850,000-square-foot distribution facility in Shakopee.

We do, however, have a small glimpse into what will happen at the fulfillment center warehouse now.

In the news release, Amazon says "employees will pick, pack and ship small items to customers such as books, electronics and consumer goods."

Employees there will also work with Amazon Robotics – which will be used on a daily basis to fulfill orders – and other "innovative technologies."

According to Amazon's jobs listing website, it's currently hiring part-time fulfillment associates.

“We’re excited to become a member of the Shakopee community and create more than 1,000 full-time jobs that offer competitive wages and comprehensive benefits on Day One that include health insurance, 401(k), bonuses and stock awards,” said Mike Roth, Amazon’s vice president of North America operations.

It might not be done either. Last month, the online retailer secured a lease for an empty industrial building in the city, likely as a sorting plant – though it hasn't commented publicly on that one.

The company's warehouse practices have been criticized before, however.

Back in 2011, workers across the country complained about how hot it was in the massive warehouses, the Seattle Times reported. That included a complaint to federal authorities regarding a warehouse in Pennsylvania that reached 102 degrees inside, with 15 workers collapsing.

In a statement at the time, Amazon said it takes the health and safety of its employees seriously, noting it spent $2.4 million to install air conditioners in four centers across the U.S., the Times reported.

Said Amazon in that statement, according to The Next Web:

"Our fulfillment team was dealing with record hot temperatures this past summer [2011]. We have air conditioning in some FC’s – Phoenix, AZ for example — but we haven’t historically had air conditioning in our east coast fulfillment centers. We’re in the process of adding air conditioning to additional FC’s so that we’re prepared in case what we saw this past summer becomes the new normal."

In addition, workers across the country have filed lawsuits for having to wait in lengthy security lines while not on the clock.

However, last December, the Supreme Court ruled Amazon did not have to pay employees for their time waiting in a security line, since it was not "integral and indispensable" to their jobs, the Washington Post reported. The class action lawsuit had been directed at Integrity Staffing Solutions, which provides workers for Amazon.

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