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The Sinister Motives Lurking Beneath’s Minnesota Debut


(SHAKOPEE, Minn.) —Teamsters Local 120 and workers across Minnesota are questioning the motives behind, Inc., as the company prepares to break ground on a new distribution facility, while driving down wages for workers.

After facing community pressure, Amazon, a multi-billion dollar corporation, recently withdrew its request for more than $6.4 million in tax incentives. Had Amazon accepted these incentives, it would have been required to pay better wages to workers in Shakopee, Minn.

By withdrawing its request for tax incentives, Amazon’s plan no longer falls under a business incentive policy. This frees the company from requirements attached to this policy, including the requirement that it pay employees much closer to a living wage. While their competition is paying employees upwards of $14.50 an hour for the lowest-paid employees, Amazon will remain in the $12 an hour range.

The Shakopee City Council approved a tax increment financing (TIF) zone that will put the nine years in tax incentives toward road and infrastructure improvements to the site that Amazon will almost exclusively benefit from. With its almost constant in-and-out traffic to receive and deliver goods, few other businesses—certainly no back-office site with community employees—will prosper as much as Amazon from the enhanced infrastructure. Amazon has plans to build a sorting center in conjunction with the new distribution center; combined, both facilities supposedly will employ more than 1,000 workers and at low wages.

“Not only are these centers bad for Shakopee, they’re bad for the entire state of Minnesota. For as many employees as it’s bringing in, Amazon is notorious for being a job killer—meaning that, even though the company is bringing in over 1,000 new jobs, that’s a fraction of the number of workers similar companies would hire. What we need are good, middle class jobs that can support families, not a race to the bottom in Minnesota communities,” said Tom Erickson, principal officer of Teamsters Local 120.

Amazon hires, on average, 14 employees for every $10 million in revenue, where other companies average between 47 and 57 employees.

“My neighbors deserve better than poverty wages, and Shakopee deserves a company that cares more about people than profits,” said Julius Lazarus, longtime resident of Shakopee.

As Amazon spreads its reach across the nation, it leaves behind a mess of unemployment and sorely underpaid workers while extracting millions of dollars out of the cities and towns it settles into. This leads to the question of whether another Amazon distribution center is what America needs right now as it struggles to nurse its economy back to health.

Teamsters Local 120 covers large portions of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa and is dedicated to fighting for increased rights for workers and communities. Visit for more information.