Amid the buzz and controversy surrounding Amazon's selection of Long Island City as the site for the online retailing giant's newest headquarters, at least one major group is welcoming the move with open arms.
SEIU-32BJ, the labor union headquartered in New York representing more than 30,000 residential building services workers (including doormen and handypersons), endorsed Amazon's 'HQ2' arrival in New York City, Crain's New York Business reported. It has been claimed that the retail behemoth will bring 25,000 jobs to the Big Apple, with employees making an average annual salary of $150,000.
“Amazon is coming to the most progressive, diverse, union-friendly city and state in the country — a fact that should put to sleep the theory that says we need to kill unions and weaken regulations to attract businesses,” Héctor Figueroa, the union's president, said in a statement: “As New Yorkers we should be proud that HQ2, and the thousands of good union jobs that will build, maintain and secure this complex, are coming to Long Island City because of the talent of our workforce, the vibrancy of our communities and the strength of our public institutions.
“There’s still a lot of input that the new development will need from the city and our community,” he continued, “to make sure Amazon serves as a positive force to strengthen our transit system, fund our public schools and help all city residents thrive. But let’s not forget, New Yorkers are the number one reason HQ2 will be built in Queens. Now let’s show Amazon how we do business here. New Yorkers of all walks of life know how to organize in their workplace and on the street to hold corporations and government accountable.”
Crain's New York Business said that “Amazon's plan to build a 4- to 8 million square-foot complex along the Queens waterfront could potentially create up to 3,000 jobs for [32BJ] members.”