Thursday, June 18, 2009

Baez Supports MortonWilliams: More Needs to be Done

Crain's is reporting (subsc.) that local Bronx council member Maria Baez has come out in support of MortonWilliams Associated supermarket-the store directly across from the proposed Kingsbridge Armory development: "The Related Companies, which needs City Council approval for its city-subsidized Kingsbridge Armory project, says it added a supermarket to its proposal at Community Board 7’s request. But the board has yet to vote, and local Councilwoman Maria Baez says a new store would undercut an Associated across the street. The board will hold a public hearing Wednesday."

That's good news for the store and its workers, but a great deal more is needed, since the goals of the RWDSU-led KARA coalition include important things such as good jobs with living wages. The concept underlying this effort is that, where the city subsidizes development, it needs to insure that the end result produces the kinds of jobs that can really support families-and not the minimum wage level jobs that so many retailers are trying to get away with lately.

If you're gonna take the dough, then you need to provide decent employment for the folks in the neighborhoods that are impacted. It does little good to pump $13 million into an Armory project only to jeopardize existing union jobs; awhile at the same time attracting retail tenants who won't pay their workers at the proper wage levels for NYC. This is a very poor public policy, and shouldn't be part of any "five borough economic plan."