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Amazon Uses Union Labor For Construction of Syosset Warehouse

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An Amazon truck exits the company's JFK8 distribution center in Staten Island, New York, U.S. November 25, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

While Amazon has been planning to build a new warehouse in Syosset for more than a year now, it is only recently that the company has agreed to use unionized labor for the construction.

The facility is set to be located in an abandoned lot, where the North Long Island Expressway service road meets Robbins Lane. The 200,000-square-foot property would be rented by Amazon from two developers and reconstructed into a packaging center for the company. The area was previously owned by the Cerro Wire factory, which was reported to have improperly disposed of toxic wastewater on the premises, as well as copper rods and cables. Should construction of the warehouse begin, however, Amazon would not only be creating the warehouse but looking to clean up any pollution with its own funds. The project would create an estimated 550 jobs, between warehouse employees and delivery drivers, not including the dozens hired for the construction.

While new employment opportunities would be more than welcome, many in recent months have been concerned that work at the facility would be redirected to nonunion contractors or laborers outside of the state. Amazon’s commitment to using unionized labor for these jobs has made the facility a much more exciting opportunity.

“We are thrilled to announce that Amazon will be using 100 percent union labor during the construction of their proposed ‘last mile’ warehouse in Syosset,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, Nassau IDA Chairman Richard Kessel, and President of the Nassau and Suffolk Building Construction and Trades Council Matthew Aracich said in a joint statement.

The presence of Amazon workplaces on Long Island has been long anticipated, but not always fully realized. Two years ago, as Amazon was deciding where to place its second headquarters, the company chose Long Island City, but Amazon backed out following backlash from critics over tax breaks, community impact, and other issues.

There have already been some opponents to the Syosset warehouse, citing many of the same concerns that were raised during the Long Island City headquarters debate, mainly the worry that Amazon is attempting to skirt taxes. Already the company has requested tax breaks for its Syosset warehouse, to help pay for the remediation efforts. Opponents argue that Amazon does not need tax breaks at this time, as it is the second richest company in the world (Apple Inc. is the richest), headed by the richest man in the world

But the construction phase of the project proved a win for union labor.

In the same joint statement, Nassau officials said, “We thank Amazon for making a commitment to Long Island’s skilled and experienced union workforce, who have a proven track record of delivering quality work that is completed on budget and with the highest workplace safety standards.” 

The facility is set to be located in an abandoned lot, where the North Long Island Expressway service road meets Robbins Lane. The 200,000-square-foot property would be rented by Amazon from two developers and reconstructed into a packaging center for the company. The area was previously owned by the Cerro Wire factory, which was reported to have improperly disposed of toxic wastewater on the premises, as well as copper rods and cables. Should construction of the warehouse begin, however, Amazon would not only be creating the warehouse but looking to clean up any pollution with its own funds. The project would create an estimated 550 jobs, between warehouse employees and delivery drivers, not including the dozens hired for the construction.

While new employment opportunities would be more than welcome, many in recent months have been concerned that work at the facility would be redirected to nonunion contractors or laborers outside of the state. Amazon’s commitment to using unionized labor for these jobs has made the facility a much more exciting opportunity.

“We are thrilled to announce that Amazon will be using 100 percent union labor during the construction of their proposed ‘last mile’ warehouse in Syosset,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, Nassau IDA Chairman Richard Kessel, and President of the Nassau and Suffolk Building Construction and Trades Council Matthew Aracich said in a joint statement.

The presence of Amazon workplaces on Long Island has been long anticipated, but not always fully realized. Two years ago, as Amazon was deciding where to place its second headquarters, the company chose Long Island City, but Amazon backed out following backlash from critics over tax breaks, community impact, and other issues.

There have already been some opponents to the Syosset warehouse, citing many of the same concerns that were raised during the Long Island City headquarters debate, mainly the worry that Amazon is attempting to skirt taxes. Already the company has requested tax breaks for its Syosset warehouse, to help pay for the remediation efforts. Opponents argue that Amazon does not need tax breaks at this time, as it is the second richest company in the world (Apple Inc. is the richest), headed by the richest man in the world

But the construction phase of the project proved a win for union labor.

In the same joint statement, Nassau officials said, “We thank Amazon for making a commitment to Long Island’s skilled and experienced union workforce, who have a proven track record of delivering quality work that is completed on budget and with the highest workplace safety standards.” 

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Manhasset’s Susie Petruccelli, Athlete and Author, To Talk New Memoir on Webinar

susie petruccelli

Susie Petruccelli, of Manhasset, a past captain of the Harvard Women’s Soccer Team who has been advocating for years for equality in women’s sports, recently published her memoir, titled Raised a Warrior.

The athlete and author will discuss details of her journey as a female soccer player and her experiences with sexism, self-doubt, and perseverance in a webinar hosted by Schneps Media, the parent company of Long Island Press. The issues she discusses are even more pressing given the stories that have emerged from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Raised a Warrior is the winner of the Vikki Orvice Prize and has been praised by a wide range of sports icons from Pelé to Billie Jean King.

“Petruccelli reveals how she battled her way back onto the field and continued to fight even after she hung up her cleats,” reads the back of Raised a Warrior.

Petruccelli also brings to light the discrimination she faced as a female athlete and introduces the activists who are fighting to secure equal pay and conditions for players. The memoir includes a global tour of the women’s soccer world and the importance of equality in this industry.

Petruccelli will be the guest at a webinar hosted by Skye Osteicher to discuss her memoir at 11 a.m. July 29. Click here to register.

For more webinars, visit SchnepsMedia.com/webinars.

Related Story: Long Island Woman Producing Documentary About Female Soccer Players Fighting For Equality

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Long Beach International Film Festival Returns July 27 to Aug. 1

long beach
The Long Beach International Film Festival festivities are held at multiple venues, including on the beach itself.

After a year of viewing every new movie from a living room couch during the pandemic, movie lovers have a chance to celebrate big-screen cinema again at the Long Beach International Film Festival (LBIFF).

The LBIFF will celebrate its ninth anniversary this summer from July 27 to Aug. 1 with a lineup of independent and studio films from around the world. Genres range across the board, from feature-length narrative, to documentary, to shorts, and even animations, all competing for a series of jury awards. There will be 60 films screened over the course of the five-day festival and nightly special events for attendees.

“The festival will host numerous opportunities to connect with enthusiastic new audiences, fellow filmmakers, film industry professionals, non-profit organizations and the media in a beautiful oceanside locale of Long Beach,” LBIFF organizers said in a statement.

The festival includes activities for all types of moviegoers: red carpet premieres, gala celebrations, filmmaker receptions and Q&A’s, industry seminars, film-inspired chef dinners, and even musical performances. In a recent press release, organizers stated that they are “committed to providing an outstanding experience for both our filmmakers and our audiences.” 

Among the movies making a big-screen debut at the festival is the locally produced documentary 86’D: How a Global Pandemic Rocked the World’s Culinary Capital, which explores the pandemic through the perspective of restaurants in New York City, some of the hardest-hit businesses at the start of 2020. The film follows several businesses in the city throughout the year of the pandemic as they struggle to stay afloat while keeping customers, and themselves, safe. Owners and workers both tell the story of the pandemic in real time and the lasting effects they believe it will have on the industry. 

“In New York we’ve gone through so much. But as New Yorkers we always fight back,” concludes the trailer for the film, which can be seen at longbeachfilm.com. 

86’D was both written and directed by six-time Emmy Award winner Rob Petrone, also known as the executive producer and host of the show Restaurant Hunter for the defunct Verizon Fios1 News. At the onset of the pandemic, Petrone used his culinary connections in New York to follow the story as it moved and developed in one of the most affected industries. The documentary that stemmed from this research is Petrone’s directorial debut and a fresh perspective on the effects of the pandemic in New York.

View showtimes and purchase tickets at the LBIFF website, longbeachfilm.com.

For more entertainment coverage, visit longislandpress.com/category/entertainment

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