A sprawling new Amazon fulfillment center in Tijuana, Mexico, is surrounded by deteriorating housing.
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. They were shared widely and discussed on Reddit and Twitter.
Martinez shared the location of the warehouse with Insider – it’s about 3 miles south of the US-Mexico border.
Marisa Vano, an Amazon spokesperson, told Insider 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.
But 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 Quad-City Times reported. The economists added that jobs needed to be high-paying for communities to see long-term economic growth.
And 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.”
The Economist similarly reported in 2018 that Amazon often paid its fulfillment-center workers less than other employers did.
Amazon waded into 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 centers in the country, and Vano told Insider that the company had since created 15,000 jobs throughout Mexico.
It announced last year that it was spending $100 million on new warehouses in Mexico to improve delivery speeds. Two fulfillment centers will go 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 Gov. Alfredo Del Mazo Maza said Amazon’s expansion would help counteract pandemic-driven economic fallout in the country
“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.