Each week Save Hudson, NH will publish a blog post written by a resident of Hudson who would like to share their POV, in order to educate the town on a new perspective, point, or topic. If you would like to submit a blog post for next week's Resident POV, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and subject the email as "Resident POV Blog Post Submission."
Lots of jobs: that’s what Amazon says it will bring to Hudson. They say they will have 1,000-2,500 employees at their Hudson location. But, let’s dig deeper. How many are part-time or seasonal jobs? How many are drivers; in recent months 1,200 Amazon drivers across the U.S. were laid off when Amazon cut ties with delivery service firms (CNBC 8/13/2020). Will the higher-paying managerial and technical jobs be local hires or are they already Amazon employees? Amazon’s hourly wage may be higher than the State’s minimum wage, but is it a living wage in this area given the high cost of housing? An MIT study showed that in New Hampshire, a living wage for an adult with one child was $26.72 and for a two adult/one adult working family was $24.30 ( livingwage.mit.edu/states/33). How many jobs will eventually be automated or outsourced to robots?
Will there be a net increase in new jobs? A 2018 study by the Economic Policy Institute looked at Amazon fulfillment centers across the country. It found that over a two-year period the host county gained more warehousing and storage jobs but there was NO OVERALL INCREASE in private-sector jobs county-wide, possibly due to loss of other jobs.
Amazon’s treatment of its employees does not always get favorable reviews. Employees have complained about long hours, grueling working conditions, continual timed monitoring of each task as well as injuries (businessinsider.com 2/19/2019). A Fall River, MA Amazon facility had 125 employee injuries in 2018 alone (Herald News 12/11/2019). Employees in Minnesota went on strike on Amazon Prime Day to protest the efficiency metric called “the rate” which times employees’ productivity (theverge.com 7/16/2019) . In San Bernardino County, CA, 150 former Amazon warehouse employees, residents and labor organizers protested at the Hillwood offices (same developer as here) to challenge Amazon working conditions, lack of a living wage and air pollution (vice.com 1/23/2020). Three employees at the Nashua Amazon facility were sickened when chemicals were mixed (WMUR 1/9/2020).
If Amazon is such a great place to work and its jobs so needed, why does it continually need to air such rosy commercials showing its happy employees? Amazon uses jobs as one of its selling points. But, before we fall under Amazon’s spell, consider if the possibility of no net increase in jobs is worth all the other negative aspects of this project such as traffic, noise, pollution and an increased burden on town services? Visit savehudsonnh.org for more information.
- Resident of Hudson, NH