2019-02-06 / Features

Labor And Allies Come Together To Support Amazon Headquarters


Tom Grech, president and CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, addressed a rally in support of Amazon moving to Long Island City. Tom Grech, president and CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, addressed a rally in support of Amazon moving to Long Island City. On Wednesday, January 30th, members of organized labor, including the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, 32BJ and State Ironworkers District Council, as well as the Long Island City Partnership, Urban Upbound, and Queens Chamber of Commerce rallied at the steps of City Hall in support of Amazon choosing Long Island City for its new headquarters. With an estimated 1,300 new construction jobs to build Amazon’s headquarters; permanent union jobs once complete; and up to 40,000 Amazon jobs with an average salary of $150,000, Amazon HQ2 is a win for working- and middle-class families, the speakers emphasized.

“New York needs a strong middle class workforce with well-paying jobs, and that’s what Amazon is delivering. It’s critical that we move forward with the Amazon headquarters in Long Island City to continue to give workers and all New Yorkers opportunities in their communities, while helping Queens develop the burgeoning industries that will bring more well-paying jobs in the years to come,” said Gary LaBarbera, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York.

“32BJ members are known for delivering quality work in every sector where they operate – and Amazon’s new headquarters will be a model for how organized labor can power the next generation of US companies to greater success. These new jobs and significant neighborhood commitments will help uplift Queens families and the city as a whole,” said Alison Hirsh, political director of 32BJ SEIU.

In addition to significant job opportunities, current plans for the Amazon HQ2 site also call for the creation of a new 600-seat public school, a 3.5-acre waterfront esplanade and park, an infrastructure fund, technology-focused workforce training, jobs programming at the Queensbridge Houses, and more.

“Bringing the headquarters of one of the world’s largest companies to Queens and to Long Island City is a win for this community and the thousands of public housing residents who live just blocks away. Amazon’s presence, coupled with the right training, will offer new life-changing career opportunities for individuals who likely never imagined working in technology and transforming the way they see their future,” said Bishop Mitchell Taylor, co-founder and CEO of Urban Upbound

“Community organizations and business leaders have worked tirelessly over the years to attract new businesses that bring well-paying jobs to Long Island City, and we know it is the perfect neighborhood to grow our city’s thriving tech sector. Amazon’s (decision) to locate one of its new headquarters here highlights just how far we’ve come – with even more opportunities on the horizon,” said Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the Long Island City Partnership.

“Queens has long been known for its diversity of cultures and ideas. With Amazon choosing Long Island City for its new headquarters, it’s clear that the business community recognizes the value this neighborhood has to offer and we are committed to working closely together to ensure everyone can benefit from their success,” said Thomas Grech, president and CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce.

“Bringing Amazon’s new headquarters to LIC is an amazing opportunity for New York’s ironworkers to continue to deliver best-in-class work on projects big and small. Whether building new apartments, office buildings or warehouses, these hardworking men and women rely on well-paying union jobs to support themselves and their families,” said James Mahoney of the New York State Ironworkers District Council.

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