Amazon’s local labor waiver for Gates facility approved by COMIDA board

Development

GATES, N.Y. (WROC) — A vote took place Tuesday on Amazon’s proposed waiver to use local labor on the construction of a new facility in Gates.

The County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency (COMIDA) board vote in favor 4-3 to approve the local labor waiver.

Amazon was seeking a waiver on part of the local labor requirement for the building of the multi-million square-foot Amazon facility in the town of Gates.

Last week, representatives from multiple labor unions protested the waiver, saying a large corporation like Amazon should not be allowed to use non-local workers. The protest continued on Tuesday ahead of the vote.

According to Monroe County’s Director of Planning and Development Ana Liss, Amazon is seeking a 30% waiver. There will be 1,600 local construction jobs with possibly 400 non-local, 85% union.

“They can bring people in our area and that don’t make the wages and benefits that we don’t make and that’s not fair when they’re getting tax breaks to do the work,” President of Building and Construction Trade Council Grant Malone said.

“All we want is a fair shake in the work. If we can’t do it than have it but its not fair that they give them a blanket waiver before the work is started.”

The project includes 100 acres of land at 2600 Manitou Road. The facility will be a more than two million square-foot warehouse and distribution center. The projected cost is $412 million.


Statement from Monroe County Executive Adam Bello

“The COMIDA board had a difficult decision to make on the Amazon project and  I want to thank each and every member for taking their time to study the issue and for their due diligence throughout this process. At over $500 million, this is an important and needed project.  Amazon’s investment in our community is significant and represents the largest single construction project ever brought before the COMIDA board, creating 2,000 construction jobs and over 1,000 permanent jobs when completed. This project will have a lasting economic impact on Monroe County and comes at a time when too many people are without employment because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, as with every project, we need to make sure applicants seeking local incentives employ local workers and comply with their agreements.  My administration is committed to ensuring Amazon complies with this new local labor agreement, and that local labor receives as much of the work on this project as possible.” 

Statement from Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy

“Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce is proud that Amazon chose Rochester for the projects underway in Gates and Ogden. Greater Rochester Chamber actively supported this waiver request and the larger projects, and we will always stand up for economic growth and prosperity. Beyond the direct jobs that result from this construction which number in the thousands, the economic impact of this investment will be felt for decades to come. I commend the COMIDA board members who voted to support economic investment and workforce development. They put the community before politics.”

This is a developing story. Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to provide updates as they become available.

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