'Bronx Residents Outraged As $130 Million Deal To Keep FreshDirect In The City Is Announced Before Public Hearing On Thursday': http://www.welcome2melrose.com/wordpress/2012/02/bronx-residents-outraged-as-130-million-deal-to-keep-freshdirect-in-the-city-is-announced-before-public-hearing-on-thursday
Quoted from Good Jobs New York's website:
"1. Fresh Direct has engaged in a greedy race to the bottom policy by pitting New York and New Jersey against one another for a subsidy package. In 1999, Fresh Direct agreed to a $6 million deal with the city to operate its Queens facility through 2025. Its success and need to expand is due in part to its NYC customer base, the city’s infrastructure including access to northern suburbs and its New York City based workforce. Why is Fresh Direct holding taxpayers over a barrel?
2. The New York City Industrial Development Agency’s cost/benefit analysis is misleading because it does not take into account the existing subsidy package; Fresh Direct has used over $2.5 million in city subsidies.
3. The neighborhoods surrounding the proposed facility are dubbed “asthma alley” because they have some of the highest asthma rates in the country. Fresh Direct relies on a legion of trucks to move its merchandise and to deliver its goods. Yet, the IDA documents don’t indicate plans for the company to utilize the existing rail at the site.
4. According to the company’s application, numerous complaints have been filed with city, state and federal agencies regarding its labor practices.
5. The company’s description of wages and employment is confusing and fails to provide taxpayers with enough information to gauge the quality of jobs either by salary or how many jobs would be part-time or full-time. Unless this information is provided more clearly, how can taxpayers be sure further investment in Fresh Direct is wise?
6. The proposed site at the Harlem River Yards in The Bronx is owned by the state, but there are no details on its provisions. How can we be sure this won’t be a sweetheart lease?
7. Ironically, Fresh Direct only delivers to the northwestern Riverdale and Kingsbridge sections of the Bronx ignoring the neighborhoods surrounding the proposed site. Will neighbors and low-income employees at the company only have access to Fresh Direct food from local soup kitchens?
8. The company’s business practices of delivering exclusively to the far Northwest Bronx neighborhoods and refusing to accept Food Stamps not only ignores Bronxites who can’t afford their food, but subjects residents to a massive fleet of asthma-producing trucks driving through their neighborhoods everyday without getting a direct benefit.
9. There is no expectation that Bronx residents will be hired or will be paid enough that they won’t have to rely on a variety of taxpayer subsidized safety net programs: Medicaid, food stamps, subsidized child care, etc. According to employment reports, nearly 40% of current Fresh Direct employees earn less than $25,000 a year.
10. The company plans to only purchase 12% of it machinery and equipment for the new facility locally (New York City and New York State.)"