Amazon is pulling out of its deal with NYC! This is a victory for working-class resistance.
While Amazon complains they didn’t “feel welcome,” the real problem was they couldn’t bully working people in New York to accept their dictated terms. Amazon’s decision makes it clear they will only invest in communities and jobs on the basis of massive handouts and opposition to unions and workers’ rights.
Clearly we need an alternative to the job creation approach of Amazon, Cuomo, de Blasio, and the corporate establishment!
We must remain vigilant. We can’t rule out that this is a bluff. Amazon has a real interest to expand it’s offices to New York. Cuomo and the establishment will use this to ramp up their vitriolic attacks on the lawmakers who opposed the project, along with labor leaders and the left who dared stand in Amazon’s way.
It cannot be ruled out that Cuomo and the establishment will try to reintroduce this deal at a later stage. That’s why we need to use this moment to go on the offensive and demand the legislature abolish the Excelsior Tax Break and other pro-corporate tax breaks that Amazon would have benefited from.
Instead, we should fight to create thousands of good union jobs through a fully-funded public sector and public jobs programs. We need to tax Wall Street and the 71 billionaires worth $500 billion in NYC to fully fund NYCHA repairs, rapidly fix the MTA, fund education, and transition the economy to renewable energy sources.
In reality, there was nothing new about this deal, in terms of policy. It was the logical outcome of years of establishment politics that have allowed big business to turn New York and other cities into playgrounds for the rich, while propping up a dysfunctional capitalist system.
We need to build on this victory and use it as launching pad to build an even bigger working-class movement to strengthen workplace rights; strengthen the state rent laws; pass Medicare for All and the NY Health Act; and fight for a society that puts people before profit.
Why should Amazon have the power to undemocratically bully communities around the world into giving it handouts and accepting poverty pay? We need to reign in their power! Amazon is building a distribution network that could be used to provide for the needs of all, rather than the whims and profits of the few. To do this we need democratic decision-making at Amazon – only possible by taking the company into public ownership under elected committees of workers and the public.
By taking the top 500 corporations into public ownership, we could democratically plan the economy. Resources and the most modern technology could be used to make life better for all. We could shorten the work week without loss of pay; share out the work and employ everyone; end poverty pay once and for all; do what’s needed to combat climate change; and plan development of our cities on democratic basis to ensure everyone has decent home.
Let’s celebrate this victory today, and use it to inspire us to build the fight for a socialist world!