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  • Strategic Resource Group

Amazon wants to be near cities. But it doesn't want unions. It can't have both.

Updated: Jun 1

Burt Flickinger was interviewed by Thomas Lee of BUSINESS OF BUSINESS about the future of Amazon and the American labor movement, specifically the implications for its urban warehouses: "Amazon has got to be where the center of gravity is to deliver on time and in full," said Burt Flickinger, managing director of Strategic Resource Group consulting firm in New York.

Unfortunately for e-commerce companies like Amazon, industrial space for warehouses in large metropolitan areas have become increasingly sparse and expensive.

With the necessary real estate in short supply, each fulfillment center takes on greater importance to Amazon's operations, Flickinger said. Amazon's rapid growth means it has been struggling to deliver packages on time during that last mile to customers, so it needs all of its warehouse space, he said.

For the newly victorious Amazon Labor Union in Staten Island, the next logical step is to organize a string of warehouses in the dense and union-friendly Mid-Atlantic corridor of the country, from New Jersey to Baltimore and Washington D.C., Flickinger said.

Although Staten Island is the most Republican borough in New York, anyone familiar with the location of the Amazon warehouse would know that the community has strong roots to organized labor, Flickinger said.

The area was home to a Proctor & Gamble plant, which for years paid its unionized workforce generous salaries and benefits, he said. People from multiple generations of families worked at the facility and attended the same schools and churches.

With all of its financial success, Flickinger believes that Amazon is getting too cocky.

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