Amazon announced earlier this week that they will stop the development of a new warehouse in San Francisco following the Board of Supervisors passing a year and a half long moratorium on new parcel delivery stations.
The citywide legislation, authored by Supervisor Shamann Walton, halts all new parcel delivery services in the city, specifically calling them ‘interim zoning controls on proposed parcel delivery service uses.’ While not specifically named in the moratorium, many Supervisors have made it clear in the last several weeks that it primarily targets Amazon and their plans to make a new last-mile warehouse in the city. On Tuesday, the halt passed 10-0, with only one Supervisor, Aaron Peskin, not voting due to owning Amazon stock.
Earlier that day, the some supporting Supervisors held a rally with several labor unions, who support the halt over Amazon’s resistance to employing union workers. They also want Amazon to make a deal for a community benefits package like most other companies do in the area.
“You can go and ask Pier 70. You can ask the Potrero Power Station. If you are going to come into our neighborhoods you are going to talk to the people in the neighborhood. You are going to provide them with community benefits,” Supervisor Walton said. “If Amazon wants to build in the district it will have to negotiate a community benefits package similar to deals struck with major waterfront developers.”
Union leaders also agreed with him at the rally.
“The type of jobs we don’t need to have are the Amazon style poverty jobs that are underpaid, unsafe, include no rights at work,” Teamsters Joint Council President Jason Rabinowitz said at the rally. “Good jobs uplift our community, Amazon style poverty jobs drag us all down.”
United Food & Commercial Workers campaign director Jim Araby later added, “The legislation would create the process necessary to hold large corporations like Amazon accountable to the community, the workers and the elected officials. This legislation is the first step to make sure there is an actual process, that you can’t just plop down a 700,000 square foot in the middle of a community and say we are going to buy you off with five dollars and an ice tea.”
Amazon, locals respond
In response to the Supervisors vote, Amazon announced that they would stop work on the delivery station at 900 Seventh Street. While they said that they would continue to serve the city, they also noted that they will be evaluating how to best use the site.
“We will continue to evaluate our long-term use of the site, and in the short-term we will work with our neighbors to look at ways to use the location to serve the community,” said Amazon Spokesman Glenn Kuper on Wednesday. “Amazon remains a proud member of the San Francisco community and is committed to continuing to serve our customers.”
Others, including local residents hoping for more jobs in the area, criticized the Supervisors on Friday, noting that the city needs more Amazon delivery services now due to the high demand.
“I love San Francisco and would never consider leaving here even with its many, many faults. Hate the sin, love the sinner I guess,” said Michael Hall Jr., a local job placement advisor, to the Globe. “But these are a lot of jobs, good jobs, on the line. No, they aren’t union, but they’ll likely pay decently enough. And, with Amazon, it will really help residents who need things like food or medicine or other items that Amazon carries be brought to them.”
“This is such a boneheaded move. I get that the city has its own thing going on many issues, but passing a law to keep out a certain company? A company with needed services that would bring a lot of jobs to the area? That’s idiotic. What would have made more sense was Amazon focusing on hiring the homeless in positions that they could qualify for. Many homeless are generally unskilled, even though I don’t like that term, and warehouses need that kind of force. But many others who are homeless are have college degrees or had been working at a position that required a lot of knowledge that may lead to higher positions there. The city would look good, Amazon would look good, you would put a dent in the homeless problem, and delivery services would continue for everyone. But no, they took the worst route possible.”
“You know, Portland, Austin, Seattle, New York, Boston – name your more left-leaning city. They would not do this sort of thing. Not even San Jose or even LA. But San Francisco did, and, for now, they are out a major warehouse and incoming jobs. It’s just so disappointing.”
As of Friday, neither San Francisco nor Amazon has brought forth a plan on the now stalled warehouse.
- SFPD Pushes For Police Robots For Deadly Force Situations - November 25, 2022
- Ports of LA, Long Beach Free Of Cargo Backup First Time Since October 2020 - November 24, 2022
- California Appellate Court Panel Strikes Down SDUSD Appeal Of Vaccine Mandate Ban - November 23, 2022