Thursday, September 27, 2012

Gary Axelbank of BronxTalk Responds to Bloomberg TV Interview with FreshDirect CEO - Questions Type of Bronx Jobs Being Offered
"This cheerleading-type interview without any analysis does a terrible disservice to the public, especially when it comes to something as contentious as this Bronx FD deal. He [Jason Ackerman, FreshDirect CEO] talks about 1000 Bronx jobs and then brags of being a tech company. But of those BX jobs, how many are in tech and how many of them are $8.75/hour jobs to work in a cold freezer all night that they advertised for with the BOEDC? THAT's the jobs question that should have been asked. Those are poverty jobs he's offereing many Bronxites and it's despicable that the interviewer calls it 'way cool' without asking the questions that need to be asked. Sorry, i'm not big on prostitution in media and that's what this is."
Courtesy of our friends and colleagues at Bronx Movers and Shakers.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Riverdale Press - It is your fault

Riverdale Press - It is your fault

It is your fault

Editorial Comment - Posted 9/19/12
Feb. 13 — That’s the date the Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. made an agreement with FreshDirect to provide more than $130 million in subsidies for its warehouse in the Bronx. April 30 — that’s the date the City Council approved living wage legislation that would require companies like FreshDirect receiving large city subsidies to pay $10 an hour with benefits, $11.50 without. 

On Monday, Mr. Diaz had the nerve to appear on BronxTalk with Gary Axelbank and dodge responsibility for FreshDirect’s hard-labor jobs that pay $8.75 an hour — less than a living wage and not much more than the minimum wage.

Mr. Axelbank read a job description  — from an ad endorsed by the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, which has been handing out flyers for FreshDirect at job fairs with your tax dollars — for work in a freezer, with mandatory overtime and 12-hour shifts. 
When he confronted Mr. Diaz for supporting the poorly paid positions, the champion of the living wage whined. 

“[It’s] not my fault,” Mr. Diaz said. 

Mr. Diaz, the man who rightfully scuttled a Related Companies mall deal for the Kingsbridge Armory because it would not guarantee living wages, somehow tried to escape responsibility for the poverty jobs he helped create at FreshDirect in the South Bronx. 

The borough president can take credit for his tough stance on the Armory, which eventually lead to the passage of living wage legislation in the City Council, though the final bill was watered down. 

But he made sure to get the FreshDirect deal signed before the bill was passed and then blamed the City Council for not moving fast enough. 

Nice try. 

Now he can also take credit for poverty jobs at FreshDirect.

You can’t have it both ways, Mr. Diaz. And it is your fault.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Just Food joins South Bronx Unite in urging its supporters to boycott FreshDirect!

Action Alert: Fresh Direct!
Should Fresh Direct be receiving $130 million in public dollars to relocate to the South Bronx, when local residents claim the deal is being pushed forward without participation by the community, without commitment by Fresh Direct to start paying living wages and stop their anti-union practices, and without a proper health, environmental and quality of life impact assessment?

Join Just Food in supporting South Bronx Unite--a coalition of South Bronx residents, organizations, and allies--in calling for the city to convene public hearings and conduct a comprehensive analysis of the social, environmental and economic impact of the proposed relocation to the South Bronx. Find out more and take action here.

View full Just Food September newsletter here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lawsuit in the News


Bronx Residents Protest $130M Subsidies For Online Grocer

Law360, New York (September 07, 2012, 4:06 PM ET) -- A group of South Bronx residents on Thursday challenged the legality of some of the nearly $130 million in subsidies made to online grocer FreshDirect LLC for its planned 500,000-square-foot shipping facility, as well as the constitutionality of its sublease at the site.

In an amended complaint filed in New York state court, two community groups known as Friends of Brook Park and South Bronx Unite and a group of individual residents allege that the city and Empire State Development Corp. overstepped their authority in approving.

See the entire article here:

Aerial view of the Harlem River Yard in the Bronx.
Harlem River Yards