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Will all Amazon HQ2 jobs be a good job?

The company's last commitment to pay all its employees at least $ 15 per hour does not apply to subcontractors…

The company’s last commitment to pay all its employees at least $ 15 per hour does not apply to subcontractors who supply the company with bathroom cleaners, landscapers and window washers. It will also not cover the thousands of food services and retailing that are expected to arise as a result of Amazon’s new outposts.

New York has treated income differences with a minimum wage that is heading for $ 15 per hour for all workers, paid sick leave and strong unions. But Virginia is a completely different ball game. It is a state of law that has historically kept the unions weak, and sites have no authority to raise their minimum wages over the federal baseline of $ 7.25.

“This is an incredibly unilateral agreement,” said Tanya Goldman, a senior policy analyst with the Center for Legal and Social Policy, an ideal tanker tanker in Washington DC focusing on reducing poverty. “There are people who will receive $ 150,000 a year, but we will worsen racial differences and economic inequality. Instinctly, not all these jobs will be good jobs will be correct.”

The Amazon track record in Seattle can tell you something about what to expect in New York and Virginia, but it has also been strongly shaped by the city’s role as a trailblazer in the United States to raise payroll and work standards.

The company said its presence in the city, where 45,000 people now work on its original campus, had given rise to 53,000 additional jobs by the end of 2017. The majority of them are in building, followed by retail, hospitality and healthcare. They have increased revenue for non-Amazon employees by $ 17 billion and encourages their contractors to pay at least $ 15 a hour.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction workers in Seattle metropolitan area an average of $ 62,230 a year. Retail job pays $ 50,560, technical health care job pays $ 94,420 and health care support jobs pay $ 39,450. It is primarily higher than the metropolitan area of ​​Washington DC and slightly lower than New York City, with the exception of the healthcare services that pay significantly more in Seattle.

Seattle has raised the floor for the lowest paying positions through measures such as the $ 15 minimum wage for large employers, a “secure planning” team that gives workers greater control over their hours and one of the strongest paid sickness absence in the country.

In addition, Seattle provides a supportive environment for union organization. Most major companies are now investigating their building services, such as landscaping and security, which means that contracting officials do not get the benefits of company officials. But in Seattle, many of these contractors are trade unions – including Amazon Guardian, whose contract guarantees family health care coverage and other protection.

“No matter what business in your home, you must continue to drive wages and the right to unionize,” said Teresa Mosqueda.

What does Amazon’s new business home mean?

An Economic Impact Study Compiled for Virginia Economic Development Partnership – based on the original 50,000 job scenario – predicts that the indirect work would have an average annual salary of $ 65,630. However, it could hide the creation of some very low wage jobs, as even counties unable to raise The standards of the way Seattle or New York can.

“I think it’s outrageous that our minimum wage working population could cross the border and do twice as much,” says Arlington County Chairman Katie Cristol. It is also a financial problem: Low wages require the government to take up the slaughter. “We really struggled as a local to finance enough a safety net for people who work extremely hard.”

Amazon says it does not control the wages offered by companies that it retains for data such as window cleanup and cleaning of bathrooms. But other engineering companies have established minimum standards for entrepreneurs. For example, Microsoft requires that its major suppliers offer 12-week paid family law. Facebook requires suppliers to pay employees at least $ 15 per hour and offer 15 paid available days.

The coalition organizing against Virgine’s subsidies, including the local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, says that legislators could push the company to stop trying to counter the union organization in its Whole Foods stores and fulfillment centers.

“They could provide shelter in the workplace,” said Roshan Abraham, a member of the Revolution Arlington Steering Group. “Unionization is one of them. Even if they only made it in Virginia as a first step, that would be a good signal to us.”

The Arlington County Council still has to vote for the $ 23 million cash contribution offered to Amazon, but it is not much leverage and the county has not proven to keep what it otherwise sees as a very good deal for the area by introducing other demands on Amazon.

Technically, the General Assembly in Virginia would have greater opportunity to attach terms to the $ 22,000 per work contribution offered to Amazon. But the key key executives have already stated support for the deal as it is, and even North African democratic representatives seem sanguine about it.

“The fact that the state will come up about $ 3.2 billion in revenue after incentives have been paid is a hard argument to turn away from considering these incentives,” said Secretary of State Adam Ebbin, representing the Arlington neighborhood of Amazon plans to occupy, like Alexandria to the south. “The thing I have to weigh is the state package contains significant money for transportation in our district that should help us in general. And that’s a good thing.”

Instead of claiming local officials, pure supply and demand are expected to support good jobs. Stephanie Landrum, president of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, said that creating environment for businesses to earn more money should sip employees, especially in an area where unemployment is already low.

“If you work at a restaurant and there is only a change because there is insufficient demand, if a company comes with what is sent to customers, you can get more shifts,” says Landrum. “All the extra activity should raise wages for workers.”

For some opposition groups, the concerns about Amazonian arrival will be more of a fear that even higher wages will not be able to cope with the rising cost of housing driven by astronomical technical wages – and a more global opposition to Amazon’s business practices.

“Their entire model is based on exploiting and destroying small businesses,” said Renata Pumarol, deputy director of the New York Communities for Change, which is part of a coalition of unions and communities that organize themselves against subsidies to Amazon. “In a city already facing the worst affordable crisis we have ever seen, what such a business would do for New York would be totally devastating.”

Pumarol says that Amazon’s best way of hiring academics from City University of New York, serving the city’s work-class students, instead of importing technology workers from Ivy League schools.

As part of its agreement with the state, Amazon committed to provide $ 5 million to labor education and classes serving neighboring residents, but did not make promises as to who would employ it. Due to the way in which the deal was conducted, local politicians have little chance of attaching additional requirements, leaving Pumarol out of options.

“We’re just not ready to say what we need from Amazon,” she says. “We’re just saying no to the subsidies and no, until Amazon comes to New York City.”

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