Need or Deserve
By Stuart Appelbaum, President
Retail, Wholesale and Department
Store Union, UFCW
There are reports that Amazon has chosen to
build a new HQ in New York, and that news
was coupled with reports that New York State
has put together a “strong incentive package” to
help lure the e-commerce behemoth to Long Island
City in Queens. It’s the latest in a saga that has seen Amazon demanding –
and being offered – hundreds of millions of dollars in tax incentives from
cities and states across America to bring Amazon to town.
Jeff Bezos wants to bring Amazon to New York City, and he would do it
without handouts. We would be giving his company taxpayer dollars to do
what he would have done anyway. Amazon wants to take advantage of the
talent, infrastructure, cultural institutions and mass transportation options
that come with being in the Big Apple. Taxpayers have already invested
heavily in many of the things that are drawing Amazon to New York, and
Amazon should contribute its fair share to build up these essential assets.
Amazon’s addiction to
Amazon needs to contribute to our
communities rather than just take
if it wants to come to New York.
public money is nothing new,
despite being one of the
richest companies in the
world. Since 2005, Amazon
has benefited from over $1 billion in tax abatements, infrastructure
improvements, and other subsidies in dozens of places. And let’s be clear –
while Amazon may bring 25,000 tech jobs to NYC, the vast majority of its
600,000 workers are low-wage warehouse workers, packing boxes in
grueling and dangerous work conditions. Amazon is a bad worldwide
employer and has fought workers’ attempts to unionize. Their bad corporate
behavior across the globe shouldn’t be rewarded by a progressive New York
City and New York State.
Amazon needs to change the way it does business – by agreeing to
labor peace, accepting workers’ wishes to unionize, and by providing living
wages, good benefits, and stable hours for workers – if it wants to be
welcome in New York. The sheer mind-boggling wealth of Amazon’s
executives – CEO Jeff Bezos’ net worth hovers around $150 billion – shows
that the company can do better.
Amazon also needs to contribute to our communities rather than just
take, by dropping demands for subsidies, by targeting local hiring and
diversity for its tech jobs, and by helping to fund affordable housing and
transit infrastructure alongside the proposed Amazon tech campus.
Fellow internet tech giants Google and Facebook have both invested
heavily in recent years in their presence in New York, yet neither has
demanded nor accepted taxpayer subsidies. If they can thrive in New York
without corporate welfare and taxpayer money so can Amazon, which had a
revenue of almost $178 billion last year. Amazon must take
the same path if it wants to be our neighbor and the
beneficiary of all of the things New York has to offer.
200 West 21st Street New York, NY 10011
Mon.-Thurs. 11am-10pm | Fri. & Sat. 11am-11 pm | Sun. 12pm-8pm
FREE DELIVERY TO LOCAL AREA
Read all about it!
2 November 15, 2018 CNW Schneps Community News Group