The City Council approved a resolution by Councilors Jessica Giannino and Richard Serino urging fair and full employment opportunities at Amazon.
Amazon will be building a new distribution center on the site of Showcase Cinemas on Squire Road. It has another facility in operation on American Legion Highway.
Giannino, who also serves as state representative for the district, began the discussion.
“This is very straightforward and the resolution reads exactly what we’re looking to accomplish,” said Giannino. “Basically Amazon is one of the wealthiest companies in the world. They’re worth over $1.7 trillion, with a ‘t’ – and they’re working right now to build their own distribution network to increase profit, but it’s at the expense of their workers.”
Giannino said she wants to make sure that Amazon fulfills its obligations to the city of Revere and that the company is held accountable to high safety standards.
“We want to make sure the drivers are safe and they’re working under good conditions and it’s also making sure that the residents who are working in these jobs are getting fair livable wages,” said Giannino.
She added that other area communities have passed elements stated in the resolution.
Serino said one of the biggest issues about Amazon that Ward 6 residents brought forth to him was “yes we’re bringing jobs to the old movie theater site but what kinds of jobs are they?”
“Amazon has a track record for not being fair employers,” said Serino. “In fact, last week they were just fined $61.7 billion for withholding tips from delivery drivers.”
Serino said he wants Amazon to be “a fair employer.”
“We can certainly request and show our solidarity with Amazon employees and fight for them to show that they deserve to have the opportunity to unionize and they deserve to earn livable wages and good benefits,” said Serino.
Revere resident and Regional School Committee member Anthony Caggiano, a member of Teamsters Local 25 who said he works for UHL, “which is in the same business as Amazon,” also expressed his support for the resolution.
“I’m asking the City Council to pass this resolution and send a message to Amazon that basically if you’re going to do business in this city, you will pay the prevailing wage and benefit package and the right to collective bargaining,” said Caggiano.
Councilor-at-Large George Rotondo said he fully supports the resolution that “speaks very clearly as to the need for community wages in the City of Revere.”
Ward 3 Councilor Arthur Guinasso, “The resolution is well intended and I think it’s a great thing to show everyone that we’re on their side. But we want to show our new employer that we would like to support our residents and their employees also.”
Councilor-at-Large Steven Morabito said “Amazon makes so much revenue, but it’s the little people that are doing all the work and making them successful that are not rewarded.”
Morabito commended their colleagues for sponsoring the resolution.
Following is the text of the resolution:
Whereas, COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the health, safety, and well-being of the residents of the City of Revere; and,
Whereas, The preventative measures put in place to combat COVID-19 by state and local agencies to prevent the spread and curtail transmission of the coro-navirus have had a devastating economic impact on local retail establishments, and have changed the retail options for the residents in the City of Revere; and,
Whereas, Existing retail and e-commerce delivery networks currently operate in the City of Revere and set community standards for every family with sustain-ing wages, benefits including but not limited to quality health insurance and se-cure retirement; and,
Whereas, Revere’s retail and e-commerce delivery options coexist in diverse neighborhoods, while adding value to the fabric of the community, including of-fering good careers for Revere residents to provide for their families; and,
Whereas, Existing e-commerce delivery options have aptly served the residents of the City of Revere throughout the COVID-19 pandemic while maintaining the highest of standards for its’ essential workforce; and,
Whereas, Amazon, which does not conform to area standards for wages, bene-fits, and working conditions, has chosen the City of Revere for expansion of its e-commerce operations.
Now Therefore Be It Resolved, The Revere City Council, hereby as-sembled, urges Amazon to meet and confer with the Revere community, included, but not limited to, representatives of labor unions including the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 25, locally impacted neighborhood groups, local residents, and other interested parties to discuss how Amazon can expand delivery operations, warehouses, and fulfillment centers in a way that is beneficial to the City of Revere and its residents while guaranteeing sustainable growth for the City and helping to ensure that fair and equitable employment standards are maintained for all e-commerce delivery networks; and,
Be It Further Resolved, Prior to any expansion into the City of Revere, Amazon commits to and presents sufficient evidence to the Revere City Council that its operations meet or exceed current Community Standards established by ex-isting e-commerce delivery networks. This commitment would include that all de-livery drivers will be direct employees of Amazon and not independent contrac-tors. Amazon must commit that all of its delivery drivers will be competent, safe drivers, that Amazon and its delivery drivers will maintain the utmost professional conduct in their day-to-day operations in the neighborhoods of the City of Revere.