Amazon Expands to Seaport Headquarters
Amazon is a global superpower, boasting one of the largest revenue streams nationwide and around the world. Now, the $1.5 trillion dollar company is expanding into Boston’s Seaport district, a city hit hard by the pandemic. Although the decision to move into Seaport was made in 2018, the benefits of Amazon’s intervention in Boston’s economy will now have a profound impact on the damage done by COVID-19.
Amazon’s expansion into Seaport reflects the large student population in the area. The company hopes to capitalize on the newly-minted workers by adding them to the Amazon team. This would greatly benefit students burdened with student loans by providing more job opportunities within the Boston area, allowing students to quickly transition into the workforce.
Seaport’s economy has grown to become one of the largest shipping locations in the United States. $8.2 billion in profits is a result of activity at the port. Because of this, along with Seaport’s status as an established attraction for companies both local and national, the Seaport district is an ideal spot for an Amazon location.
Additionally, providing a pathway to further economic growth and development, the Baker-Polito Administration relaunched the Seaport Economic Council in 2015. This council is dedicated to improving the Seaport economy and the welfare of its ports and shipping activity. They have projects in place to benefit the maritime industry and infrastructure in the Seaport area.
This council’s oversight ensures that large companies like Amazon will contribute to the economy instead of demolishing it. The Seaport Economic Council’s inspection will ultimately benefit Amazon’s economic growth since the maritime and shipping industries are extremely profitable and lucrative.
Along with Seaport being an ideal location, the timing is just right for Amazon to open new locations. In 2020, Amazon’s stock rose over 60%, making expansion opportunities more feasible. The company has put plans in place to expand to six major cities, generating career opportunities for an estimated 3,000 residents.
However, in Alabama and other locations, Amazon has proven detrimental. The company has taken a very public and active approach to counter union movements. Currently, there is a vote in Bessemer, Alabama about whether or not to unionize.
Workers from Bessemer, Alabama have cited the unfair expectations that Amazon places on them as motives for unionizing: “I just want the people to get treated with respect,” said Amazon employee Darryl Richardson to The Verge.
Unionizing will afford workers the opportunity to increase their pay, especially considering Amazon’s monumental profits during the pandemic. This progressive and necessary shift will benefit the new Seaport workers who will most likely be new to the workforce. The opportunity to unionize will provide more stability and structure to these fresh college graduates.
Since Amazon is thriving so emphatically during this pandemic, it is even more important that Amazon allows its employees to unionize and express themselves fairly.
Currently, workers are getting paid $15.30 an hour. The pay does not reflect Amazon’s rising growth and Jeff Bezos’s personal wealth. Additionally, states like Massachusetts and California are actively trying to increase the minimum wage to $15, making Amazon barely hit the required minimum. Increasing the pay would make Amazon a more appealing option to those entering the competitive workforce seeking livable wages.
Amazon’s plan to expand into New York City was halted by progressives in government who refused to grant Amazon $3 billion in government incentives. However, deterring Amazon’s expansion would hurt Governor Andrew Cuomo’s efforts to “diversify the city’s economy by making it an inviting location” for large companies like Amazon.
The combination of Boston’s economy with Amazon seems extremely profitable. However, if Boston requires monetary assistance for this expansion, Boston may not be able to host an Amazon location. From the progressives’ perspective, big corporations like Amazon already have the government’s favor, so extra monetary incentives indicate corporate bias and potentially corruption. However, Amazon would provide cities like Boston with more job opportunities and economic diversification, bolstering a currently damaged economy.
Boston had a strong economy before the pandemic hit, but with economic growth through Amazon’s arrival, the Boston economy should make a recovery. In a coronavirus addled world, the introduction of extremely profitable, stable companies like Amazon could be of tremendous assistance to the survival of any economy.