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From Dismal Worker Treatment to Soaring Housing Costs, Seattle Lawmakers Warn New York About What Happens When Amazon Comes to Town

"New York City should learn something from Seattle. Amazon's record of mistreating workers, preying on small businesses, and attacking progressive reforms should concern us all. New Yorkers deserve better."

"In Seattle, workers have been pushed out further and further from the city because they can't afford it. The result of having Amazon in town is gentrification, is people losing their family home," said Seattle City Council member Teresa Mosqueda, who joined her fellow lawmaker Lisa Herbold at the event. (Photo: Make the Road New York/Twitter)

In an effort to warn New Yorkers about Amazon's dismal treatment of workers, harmful impact on public housing, and myriad other concerns following the sweetheart HQ2 deal that was finalized late last year, two Seattle City Council members traveled to New York City to participate in a summit on Monday that also featured labor officials, Amazon employees, and New York state representatives.

In Seattle, where Amazon's current headquarters is located, "workers have been pushed out further and further from the city because they can't afford it. The result of having Amazon in town is gentrification, is people losing their family home," said Seattle City Council member Teresa Mosqueda, who joined her fellow lawmaker Lisa Herbold at the event.

The meeting came days after the Seattle-based company ran an ad in New York City papers attempting to smooth over tensions over the deal by pledging "to be your partner, to listen, learn, and work together."

In tweets reacting to the meeting, social justice group New York Communities for Change (NYCC) denounced the wealthy e-commerce giant's hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks and said the new Queens headquarters will be bad news for the local community and workers:

According to New York state Sen. Mike Gianaris, who represents the area where the HQ2 will be, "This company is too big and powerful. Seattle tried to implement common sense public policy to protect its people, and Amazon basically rolled it back," referring to the company's defeat of a modest tax proposal aimed at combating Seattle's homelessness crisis.

"This Amazon giveaway is immoral," concluded New York City council member Jimmy Van Bramer. "New York City should learn something from Seattle. Amazon's record of mistreating workers, preying on small businesses, and attacking progressive reforms should concern us all. New Yorkers deserve better."

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