Protesters bring giant, inflatable rats to Schodack Amazon site

August 01, 2019 07:21 PM

SCHODACK - If you drive by the construction site for the massive Amazon warehouse in Schodack on Route, just south of the 9 & 20 split, you'll see a group of giant inflatable rats.

The protestors have a problem with a contractor, Pierce Builders headquartered in Connecticut. They wanted Amazon to choose a local company to be the ones to clear the way for the building.

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Pierce is the company using the heavy equipment to move the dirt.

Union representative William Walsh believes the operating engineers working with that heavy equipment are being paid too low of a wage.

Pierce Construction wasn't interested in giving NewsChannel 13 an interview.

Amazon sent the following statement to NewsChannel 13:

"The earthwork subcontractor referred to is a regional subcontractor headquartered within an hour and 45 minutes from the project site and typically does business in NY state and throughout the Northeast region.  Currently about 1/3 of their personnel working on the project are from the nearby Schodack area.  They pay their labor at or near industry standard and offer typical full time benefits such as OT, medical, and 401K.

Subcontractors, vendors, and workers for the project are solicited through an open bid process available to any qualified party who has shown interest in the project.  The list ranges from both non-union and union, local, regional, and national contractors with experience and expertise for projects of this size and type.  Selection criteria focus on the lowest responsible bidder with emphasis on locality in the case of close bids.  Awarding of the work is an on-going process expected to take several more months.  Presently,  we are projecting about 50% of the companies to be local to the Albany, NY  area, with another 10-20% regional, such as the earthwork subcontractor.  The other 25-30% are expected to be non-local, in part due to the specialized nature of their particular work.  Of the national vendors, some are expected to hire local labor to either supplement or perform the work outright.  As far as non-union or union contractors, we expect at least a half dozen trades to be union and the remainder non-union.  If there are interested parties, they should reach out to the developer or construction manager on the project."


WNYT Staff

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