Amazon shares ended lower in the US Friday. Meanwhile, the global tech giant has announced its first fulfilment centre based in Alabama. Jeff Bezos’ firm will employ some 1,500 fulltime staff once the new centre is opened in Bessemer.
Separately, over 100 Amazon staff are reported to have signed an open letter to their CEO Bezos, requesting the firm to stop selling its facial recognition tech to US law enforcement agencies and any other Amazon partners who work with the immigration and customs enforcement agency.
Amazon shares ended the US Friday session 0.84% lower at $1,715.67. The stock is also a little lower in out-of-hours activity.
Amazon’s latest fulfilment centre plans
The centre will include state-of-art tech equipment to help with the smooth running of the facility. Amazon added that all full-time staff members will receive comprehensive benefits and training support, too.
“We are thrilled to bring our first fulfilment centre to the state of Alabama, creating 1,500 full-time jobs,” said Mark Stewart, Amazon’s Vice President of North America Customer Fulfilment.
“Alabama has a talented workforce and we look forward to making a positive economic impact in a state where we are committed to providing great job opportunities and an exceptional customer experience,” Stewart added.
Amazon employees’ open letter
Separately, over 100 of Amazon’s employees, including senior-level engineers, have signed an open letter to CEO Bezos, requesting the company ends its ties with Palantir and stops selling its facial recognition tech to US law enforcement agencies.
Palantir works with US immigration and customs enforcement.
The letter states that the group of Amazon employees request and end to the provision of Rekognition to US law enforcement agencies to help limit the powers of a likely, eventual surveillance state.
“We also know that Palantir runs on AWS. And we know that ICE relies on Palantir to power its detention and deportation programs. Along with much of the world we watched in horror recently as US authorities tore children away from their parents,” the letter reads.
The letter ends with: “We refuse to build the platform that powers ICE, and we refuse to contribute to tools that violate human rights…. Our company should not be in the surveillance business; we should not be in the policing business; we should not be in the business of supporting those who monitor and oppress marginalized populations.”