Amazon opened hiring Friday for more than 800 full-time jobs at its new fulfillment center in Salem.
The starting pay is $15 an hour, with benefits. Amazon moved to a $15 minimum wage last year for all U.S. employees, including temporary, part-time and seasonal workers. The current minimum wage in Salem is $11.25 an hour.
The 1-million-square-foot facility is designed for some of the bigger items the e-commerce giant sells.
“Anything that’s larger than a microwave,” said Amazon spokesperson Eileen Hards. “Products that are like sports equipment, gardening tools, patio furniture. We have a lot of pet and dog food in that particular fulfillment center.”
The new workers will shelve and unshelve those products with fork lifts, Hards said, and they’ll pack them for delivery and load them onto trucks. Amazon said the positions come with health care benefits from day one, as well as paid parental leave and educational benefits after the first year of employment.
The hiring begins right after Amazon’s Prime Day sales event, which drew protests over working conditions at some Amazon warehouses — including a delivery station in Portland.
Officials in Salem said Amazon is getting an estimated $3.7 million property tax break over three years for the new facility. Amazon built the fulfillment center on land that was state-owned for decades, so no property tax was collected before.
Kenny Larson, the community engagement manager for the city of Salem, said Amazon is now paying taxes on the land, which is located in an enterprise zone. After the three-year abatement, he said, the company will pay taxes on any improvements, including the fulfillment center itself.