Those of us who advocate for good jobs were concerned by reports that Amazon is reconsidering its decision to build HQ2 in Queens. According to a Friday report in The Washington Post, Amazon officials are having second thoughts after facing a backlash from local politicians, who think the subsidies to Amazon aren’t worth the jobs upside.
If the deal is to be salvaged, Amazon and New York officials need to do all they can to address local concerns and deliver jobs for local workers.That’s why the city’s independent construction workers hope that Amazon will not only stay in Queens but also commit to building HQ2 with a non-union, open-shop work force.
When it comes to the construction of the project, the problem Amazon faces is clear: Gov. Cuomo is intent on having the facility built by an all-union workforce. But by seeking to cater to his political donors and patrons instead of his constituents, Cuomo is doing a disservice to those who are most in need of the new development’s benefits.
The reality is that hiring an all-union workforce would limit opportunities for local workers. Additionally, confining these jobs to a specific workforce would leave unaddressed the concerns of public officials who want more of them to go to Queens residents rather than to union workers from New Jersey, Connecticut or Long Island.