Big Labor Radicals Shuttering Opportunities for Working People

Forced-Unionism Abuses Exposed — The facts Big Labor bosses would rather you didn’t hear about.

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Vol. 18, No. 4 – April 2019

“[C]ompulsory unionism and corruption go hand in hand . . . .”

— U.S. Sen. John McClellan (D-Ark.)

Big Labor Radicals’ Crusade Against Amazon Hurts Working-Class People in New York City

New York just lost what Robert Mujica, Big Labor Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget director, calls “the single greatest economic development opportunity we have had” during his 23 years working as part of the state government in Albany.

On Valentine’s Day, after enduring months of public and often vicious attacks from far-left union bosses and their puppet politicians, as well as Big Labor-bankrolled “community activists,” Amazon announced the cancellation of its deal to locate one of its two new headquarters in New York City.

Amazon had pledged to create 25,000 new jobs, paying an average of $125,000 a year, in a part of Queens that, according to Mujica, “has not seen any significant commercial development” in decades. Over the next 25 years, Amazon’s greatly expanded presence in the city would have added an estimated $27.5 billion in tax revenues to state and city coffers.

In addition to offering tech job opportunities for highly educated workers, the New York City project would have created roughly 2,500 entry-level jobs in a new Amazon fulfillment center in Staten Island.

Nationwide, Amazon pays its new warehouse hires at least $15 an hour for jobs that require basic skills and provide opportunities to acquire new skills and ascend the economic ladder. By way of comparison, recently hired unionized workers who do similar jobs for United Parcel Service currently get paid roughly $4 an hour less under the contract their Teamster monopoly-bargaining agents negotiated last year.

A paucity of advancement opportunities for non-college-educated workers in the Big Apple and throughout the Empire State is a major reason why forced-unionism New York’s peak-earning-year population (aged 35-54) plummeted by 575,000, or 10.1%, from 2007 to 2017, even as the total peak-earning-year population of the 22 states that had Right to Work laws on the books for the entire decade grew by 522,000, or 1.6%.

Mujica rightly calls the demise of the Amazon deal a “tremendous loss” for New Yorkers. But that’s not how Stuart Appelbaum, the radical head of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), a subsidiary of the mammoth United Food and Commercial Workers union, sees it.

According to Appelbaum, because Amazon employs hundreds of thousands of union-free warehouse workers across the U.S. and is growing rapidly, it must be made to kowtow to Big Labor at any cost: “[W]e cannot accept that it’s allowed to continue to operate as . . . [a] non-union company.”

Teamsters Joint Council 16 kingpin George Miranda is also happy that 25,000 jobs won’t be created in New York City, since Amazon wouldn’t consent to helping Organized Labor corral its fulfillment center workers and drivers into unions.

Rabidly pro-forced-unionism politicians opposed to the Amazon deal, led by avowedly socialist freshman New York Democrat U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, harped on the tax abatements the city and state had agreed to grant the company.

But as long as New York City remains the jurisdiction with the highest income taxes in the country, it will undoubtedly need to resort to special tax breaks to attract significant job-creating investments, and Ocasio-Cortez et. al. would not have objected if, in exchange, Amazon had effectively agreed to hand over its front-line warehouse workers to union rule, whether they wanted it or not.

It now appears New York’s loss will translate into gains for two Right to Work states, Virginia and Tennessee. In the Old Dominion, Amazon could potentially bring even more jobs connected to its planned new headquarters in Arlington County than the 25,000 it had previously promised to add by 2030. Additional Amazon offices could also be built in Nashville, where an expansion was already planned.

National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix commended Amazon executives for their recent decision in an open letter mailed to them on February 21. But one question they should be asking themselves, he added, is why they ever planned to locate in the Big Apple at all “when there are dozens of cities open and welcoming for business across the 27 Right to Work states.”

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In each issue of “Exposed,” the National Right to Work Committee will highlight yet another example of union-boss abuse spawned and perpetuated by Big Labor’s government-granted privilege to force workers to pay union dues, or be fired.