Amazon to open Jacksonville fulfillment center for public tours

Pecan Park Road center will be first and only one offering tours in Florida

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – If you’ve ever wondered how Amazon is able to fill hundreds of thousands of orders a day, you can now see for yourself.

Amazon announced it will open up the Jacksonville fulfillment center on Pecan Park Road and 22 others across the country for public tours. The one on Jacksonville's Northside will be the first and only fulfillment center offering tours in Florida. 

Here’s how you do it: 

1. Go to www.aboutamazon.com/amazon-fulfillment-center-tours.

2. Pick the facility and amount of people in your group. There can be up to 10 people in one group at a time. 

3. Pick a date and time. Amazon is currently booking tours through Aug. 30. 

4. Fill in some information -- such as your name, email address and birth date -- and then you're done.

Amazon promises an hourlong tour that will give customers the opportunity to see what happens after clicking buy on Amazon. 

But don’t plan on documenting the trip. Amazon does not allow any video or pictures.

One former Amazon employee has her own opinion about these tours.

“Touring a fulfillment center offers as much understanding to work in one as going to the zoo offers what a lion feels like to live in a zoo,” said former Amazon employee Emily Guendelsberger.  

Guendelsberger worked at an Amazon fulfillment center for less than two weeks before she called it quits. She wrote a book about her experience called "On the Clock: What Low-Wage Work Did to Me and How It Drives America Insane."

“It was because they treat you like a robot," Guendelsberger said. "That’s why all the Amazon workers demonstrating against this tend to carry signs that say, 'We are not robots.'”

Amazon responded to Guendelberger’s statements: 

"For someone who only worked at Amazon for approximately 11 days, Emily Guendelsberger’s statements are not an accurate portrayal of working in our buildings. We are proud of our safe workplaces and her allegations are demeaning to our passionate employees, whose pride and commitment are what make the Amazon customer experience great. We encourage anyone to come see for themselves what it’s like to work at the Amazon fulfillment center she worked at by taking a free, public tour of the site. Learn more at amazon.com/fctours."

Guendelsberger agrees not everything about working for Amazon is bad.  

“There are many good things for working for Amazon," Guendelsberger said. "I’ve heard from many people that the benefits are pretty good and they raised their minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour.”

She went on to say to take the tour with a grain of salt. 

“The things that make people hate Amazon in a way that they do not hate other jobs are not going to be visible on the tour," Guendelsberger said. "You have to live it to really understand.” 

The tours are free and open to the public. Visitors must be at least 6 years old.


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