Whole pay-stubBy http://profile.typepad.com/1237764140s22740 // July 28, 2013 in Amazon, Seattle
Stepping away from national policy on startup investing for today, Sunday, to consider some very local, Seattle-specific news.
Fascinating reporting and editorial commentary in the Seattle Times today about incumbent Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn facing down Whole Foods, as a way of shaking up and reinvigorating his prospects for re-election.
Apparently, when a developer proposes a project that would have the City vacate a street or alleyway, that gives the City leverage, or additional leverage, to, in return, exact public benefits from the project. And the controversy McGinn has started is in saying, if Whole Foods wants to claim an alleyway in West Seattle to build a new grocery store, it needs to pay its non-unionized workers a fairer wage.
What draws me most to the story is the angle, threaded throughout the Times' coverage, that the Mayor or the City did not make similar wage or wage information demands on Amazon when that company was pursuing development that would also have the City vacate a street.
This from the main news story about the controversy in today's Seattle Times:
"[Other candidates for mayor] labeled as hypocritical McGinn singling out Whole Foods while not raising the same issue when granting recent street vacations to nonunion Amazon.com in South Lake Union."
I have to say, that is an absurdly out of touch comparison for other candidates to draw. I don't know what Amazon pays its food service workers, but the people I know who work there, they make very good salaries. And the boon to Seattle of having these knowledge workers in town, inside the city limits, rather than a godforsaken office park on the eastside . . .
Don't get me started.
I say be liberal in giving Amazon alleyways.