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Amazon will offer full-time jobs to more than half of its pandemic hires in Texas

UPDATED: Fri., May 29, 2020

From staff and wire reports

A week after Amazon announced that it is starting to hire for more than 2,000 positions at its new facility on the West Plains, the company announced plans to keep more than 8,800 employees it hired in Texas to help during the coronavirus pandemic.

The company hired about 14,400 new employees in Texas to help during the buying rush caused by stay-home orders across the nation.

The company will now retain 8,800 of those by offering them full-time positions beginning in June.

Amazon recently finished the 2.5 million-square-foot facility on the West Plains, which it calls a “fulfillment center.” The company has 13 similar sites in Texas, which makes it the biggest operational footprint in the country.

A spokesperson for the company declined to provide the specific number of jobs being offered in Dallas-Fort Worth, Amazon’s biggest operational footprint in the state which includes 13 fulfillment centers and five delivery stations.

“While some seasonal employees may choose to return back to their pre-COVID-19 job and others may choose to stay at Amazon in seasonal roles or part-time roles, for those who wish to stay and grow with Amazon, more than 8,800 of these seasonal-to-permanent, full-time roles will be offered in Texas,” Amazon spokesperson Jen Crowcroft said in a statement.

The full-time jobs offered to workers include roles in customer fulfillment and last mile delivery, which involve packing, shipping and delivery of items to customers. Amazon said it also expects to offer additional full-time roles in the coming days.

The company started bring additional workers on in March to meet the surge in demand created by the coronavirus pandemic and stay-home orders enacted across the country.

The latest move to keep those workers on permanently signals Amazon sees the surge in delivery demand lasting even longer despite the lifting of stay-home orders in a majority of states. It hired a total of 175,000 new workers nationwide during the pandemic and plans to offer full-time jobs to 125,000 of them based on long-term needs at its warehouses.

Demand for Amazon’s products and services has been so high in March and April the company has had to place limits on delivery speeds for certain items and temporarily drop its one-day shipping benefits for Amazon Prime members.

Amazon, which employs 20,000 people full-time in Texas, has come under fire by workers and labor advocates for failing to protect its warehouse employees from the coronavirus early on in the pandemic. As of this week eight Amazon employees have died of COVID-19, and workers have begun tracking cases of coronavirus at the company themselves.

The e-commerce giant also started hiring 1,500 workers this month for its new fulfillment center south of Interstate 30 in Oak Cliff.

The Dallas Morning News contributed to this report.

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