Certain members of the Nashville Metro Council intend to tie the city’s proposed incentives for Amazon.com to wage increases for city employees, according to The Nashville Business Journal.
As The Tennessee Star reported, Nashville will get Amazon’s new Operations Center of Excellence in exchange for $102 million in taxpayer-funded performance-based incentives.
Additionally, Nashville will provide a cash grant up to $15 million, as reported.
The new operation is supposed to have 5,000 new jobs with average salaries of $150,000 per year, according to Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Haslam.
According to The Nashville Business Journal, Metro Council members are scheduled to hear the resolution during next week’s meeting.
The resolution, according the paper, asks that Metro Council “hereby goes on record as requesting that the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County provide cost of living adjustments to employees of the Metropolitan Government if economic incentives are to be awarded to Amazon.”
“If the Metropolitan Government is unable to provide cost of living adjustments to Metro employees, however, no economic incentives should be given to Amazon.”
Resolutions, the paper went on to say are nonbinding. That means Metro has no obligation to meet the demands if the council approves it next week.
“However, if the resolution is approved and the mayor’s office ignores it, any incentives deal could face substantial hurdles, since it would require Metro Council approval,” the paper said.
Metro Council member Steve Glover sponsored the resolution. He stressed to The Nashville Business Journal the need to pay Metro employees more.
“If we found the money for $15 million for Amazon, then why can’t we find $18 million to put into our Metro employees’ pockets?” Glover asked.
“Frankly, I’m gonna keep saying the same thing I’ve been saying for months: If we don’t get our act together … then we are driving nails into our own coffin.”
Other council members supporting the resolution, according to the paper include Robert Swope, Brenda Haywood, and Freddie O’Connell.
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