May 18, 2018 10:47 AM HomeAtlantaNew Bipartisan Effort To Prevent HQ2 Coming To Atlanta New Bipartisan Effort To Prevent HQ2 Coming To Atlanta By edatlanta Atlanta, Democrats, Miscellaneous, Politics 11 Comments Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore wasn’t content to let Casey Cagle work on keeping HQ2 out of Atlanta. She let it know she’s “not the biggest fan” of Amazon setting up shop in Atlanta. “I just think it will accelerate some of the gentrification and affordability [issues in Atlanta]” President Moore said on WABE’s “A Closer Look” on Thursday (17:07). Just to double down on the Amazon antagonism, Moore says a city of Seattle head tax that caused Amazon to cancel expanding it’s Seattle HQ is a good thing. “Seattle has it right. They see what I’m seeing; the impact there will be of a company coming in. “There’s a lot of pluses but there’s also a lot of minuses.” Welp. It was fun while it lasted. Share this:TwitterFacebookTumblrRedditEmailPrint Related Tags:Affordable Housing, Amazon, Felicia Moore, HQ2 About Author edatlanta 11 Comments Charlie As will be noted in my column Monday, Georgia has the lowest tax burden (state and local) of any state in the country. Meanwhile, Amazon HQ1 is in jeopardy because Seattle has decided to place additional burdens on job creators in order to continue to import poverty. I’m not worried about anything that has been done yet to change Georgia’s standing for HQ2/1. The fact that we continue to land tech company HQ’s and expansions almost weekly shows that we remain attractive to these sort of site selections. And the City of Atlanta isn’t the only jurisdiction with sites in Georgia bidding for the company. If the City of Atlanta wants to pretend to be Seattle, Sandy Springs/Rosewell/Alpharetta, Smyrna/Marietta, Gwinnett, and heck – even Doraville stand ready to compete and thrive. May 18, 2018 10:54 AM Log in to Reply Andrew C. Pope I was just in Seattle on Monday for meetings with a few Amazon folks. HQ1 is not in jeopardy. May 18, 2018 11:31 AM Log in to Reply Andrew C. Pope To expand on that, the original proposal was a $500 per worker tax that would have continued indefinitely. Amazon (and others) were able to get that down to about $275 and place a 2023 expiration date on the tax. Amazon is aware of the positive and negative impacts their growth has had on Seattle and, while I’m sure they aren’t fans of the tax, they’ve long advocated for better spending on affordable housing and services for the homeless. This is hardly a measure that is going to force Amazon’s headquarters operations out of Seattle. May 18, 2018 11:38 AM Log in to Reply bethebalance Yeah, my thought was that they’re realists, and that, in a way, Ms. Moore just set the stage for any future negotiations, if they happen. I thought Atlanta was going to impose a “per worker” tax years ago. May 18, 2018 2:25 PM Log in to Reply Andrew C. Pope I’d much rather Atlanta get serious about affordable housing now instead of doing what Seattle, San Francisco, etc. have done and waiting for it to become a crisis. May 18, 2018 3:00 PM edatlanta ” Smyrna/Marietta, Gwinnett” At the risk of sounding anti-OTP I’m not sure there’s anywhere here that meets the requirement of “mass transit at site”. I’m also not sure which sites would be within the 45-minute trip limit to the airport. Sure there’s other possible sites but they would be, at best, just within the margin required for so much of HQ2’s demands. May 18, 2018 11:07 AM Log in to Reply LTWill I would love to see the governments of Cobb, Gwinnett, and/or North Fulton have to deal with liberal Jeff Bezos. May 20, 2018 12:45 AM Log in to Reply Will Durant They already do and a couple of my neighbors who have worked for him consider him more of a 21st century robber baron than a “liberal”. Local Amazon fulfillment centers are managed in a dystopian manner straight out of Orwell. Heavily barred turnstiles lead into to a warehouse where every square inch is covered by cameras. 10 hour shifts consist of two 15 minute paid breaks (actually 10 since the 2½ minute walks to and from the break room are part of the break period), and one unpaid 30 minute lunch period. Quotas straight out of the mills of old are strictly maintained and constantly ratcheted up. Don’t meet your quota for a week, you are written up, two weeks, ditto, three, buh bye. On the job injuries are frequent and costly to the company so “safety inspectors” vigilantly watch for any infractions cutting corners trying to meet the quotas. Minor infractions are again the of the 1, 2, 3 variety but inadvertently forget to attach your harness to your fork lift? Buh bye again. One employee was caught on camera eating a slice from the wrong pizza (a coworker had offered it to him gratis but he mistook which one in the fridge). Of course, buh bye yet again. Average length of employment? Less than a year. Pay level for this magnificent job in Gwinnett? $11 per hour. One of these neighbors still works there but is looking as hard as possible for something else. The other now works for a grocery chain warehouse that has a base pay of $14.50 and uses positive cash incentives for meeting and/or exceeding quotas. Now of course this is the bottom end of the Amazon world and not the vaunted experience we are being promised for HQ2, but if you go to sites like Glassdoor you will find that their expectations from managers are not so great either. So even if he does own the Post and is considered an enemy by the President, I’m not convinced that the $135,000,000,000 Bezos could be considered a liberal. I’m certainly not convinced that billions in taxpayer incentive dollars should be offered to bring his business here regardless of his politics. Especially when we are begrudging a $40 million dollar motor fuel tax (for fuel that does not impact roads one iota), to an employer who has historically been at the top in treating their employees in more than a fair manner for decades. May 20, 2018 7:17 AM Log in to Reply Will Durant BTW, the neighbors I’m speaking of including a 3rd one that previously worked at a different fulfillment center in a bottom tier management role are all failure-to-launch kids as in these centers Amazon just doesn’t pay a living wage that could support a renter in Gwinnett, much less a home owner. I ran across this article in my surfing yesterday regarding similar experiences with Amazon in the UK: James Bloodworth spent a month working as a “picker” – the person who locates the products ordered – for Amazon in March 2016 for his book Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain. “We carried this handheld device at all times and it tracks your productivity,” he says. It would direct workers to the items they need to find on the shelves in one of Amazon’s vast warehouses. “Each time you picked up an item, there would be this countdown timer [to get to the next item] which would measure your productivity.” Bloodworth says supervisors would tell people how productive they were being; he was warned he was in the bottom 10%. “You were also sent admonishments through the device saying you need to get your productivity up. You’re constantly tracked and rated. I found you couldn’t keep up with the productivity targets without running – yet you were also told you weren’t allowed to run, and if you did, you’d get a disciplinary. But if you fell behind in productivity, you’d get a disciplinary for that as well.” It didn’t feel, he says, “that you were really treated as a human being”. Workers had to go through airport-style security scanners at the beginning and end of their shifts, or to get to the break areas. He says going to the loo was described as “idle time” and once found a bottle of urine on one of the shelves. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/14/is-your-boss-secretly-or-not-so-secretly-watching-you May 21, 2018 9:29 AM Log in to Reply Gregs I agree with her concerns, however, there are many, many things Atlanta could do to mitigate the minuses. First, the city/state could identify the root cause(s) of the Seattle problem. There is more to gentrification than just Amazon and Starbucks. Second, they could get serious about solving the mobility issue. When people can freely get from point a to point b, there is a lot less need to gentrify. Ridiculous things like the street car don’t count. Third, the problem of homelessness is real and deserves a serious discourse, instead the city spent the last seven years closing shelters. Ms. Moore should devote her time and talents to solving some these hard problems and not stopping progress because it brings problems. Thats what she’s elected to do. May 19, 2018 10:36 AM Log in to Reply LTWill I kind of agree with her. Atlanta officials need to get serious about protecting low and middle income residents. Or at the very least get serious about infrastructure in these newly gentrified areas. May 20, 2018 12:41 AM Log in to Reply Add a Comment Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.