Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

"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)

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."

Andrea Germanos

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."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Enough is Enough': Hundreds of Thousands March Across the UK

'As wages fall while profits soar, our message is clear... We are here to win.'

Common Dreams staff ·


California Gov. Newsom Proposes Windfall Profits Tax on Big Oil

Calls for windfall profits taxes have increased globally in recent weeks

Common Dreams staff ·


'Incredible': Omar and Khanna Staffers Join Levin's Office in Unionizing

"It is long past time the United States Congress became a unionized workplace, and that includes my own staff," said Rep. Ilhan Omar. "I am proud of all the people on my team who have played a leading role in the staff unionization effort. Solidarity forever."

Jessica Corbett ·


Destructive Hurricanes Fuel Calls for Biden to Declare Climate Emergency

"Mother Nature is not waiting for the president or Congress to declare a climate emergency. She's showing us in real-time here in the United States—with wildfires, floods, heatwaves, hurricanes, and drought."

Jessica Corbett ·


Spain Approves 'Solidarity' Tax to Make Nation's Top 0.1% Pay a Fairer Share

The country's finance minister said that looming changes are bound to make the tax code "more progressive, efficient, fair, and also enough to guarantee social justice and economic efficiency."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo