The Two Options for Keeping New-Economy Companies


A Ted Nesi WPRI article related to Pinnacle Logistics, an Amazon distribution company moving from Rhode Island to Connecticut, has me thinking that the Ocean State really has only two options, when it comes right down to it.

The termination letter, provided by an employee who asked to remain anonymous, said Amazon “has elected to terminate its PVD operations” due to “business reasons unrelated to PVD’s performance.” The employee said workers were stunned by the news in light of how busy and high-performing the facility appeared to them. …

State officials had said last fall Pinnacle planned to develop “a permanent facility in the near future on the airport premises,” and it’s unclear why the company changed its mind. T.F. Green spokesman Bill Fischer said the airport learned of Pinnacle’s decision Friday morning. …

“I know Amazon is a notoriously anti-union company and has been fighting unions in its various facilities since 1994, so it would not surprise me to learn that Amazon and Pinnacle decided to close this operation in retaliation for the union activity,” [Teamster lawyer Marc] Gursky told Eyewitness News.

Gursky said the Teamsters filed a new complaint against Pinnacle on Friday afternoon, alleging that the company had engaged in unfair labor practice by closing the plant to retaliate for the unionization effort.

I’d suggest a little bit of skepticism that any company running away from labor unions would head to Connecticut, which tends to come up higher on lists of labor union strength.

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Be that as it may, we who live in Rhode Island can think of dozens of areas of insider leverage that might have made our state unacceptable to this sort of company.  That leads to our two options, of which we can only pick one:

  1. A vibrant, innovative economy in synergy with economic advances.
  2. An insider system that gives enhanced leverage to special interests like labor unions, quasi-public companies, and countless fiefdoms.

One suspects that most people would choose option #1, if given the chance, but then, our electoral system has evolved to limit that chance.

  • Merle The Monster

    “I’d suggest a little bit of skepticism that any company running away from labor unions would head to Connecticut, which tends to come up higher on lists of labor union strength.”

    This is business as usual. Bradley International Airport was probably Amazon’s first choice because they were offering something Green could not….placing Pinnacle at the airport instead of schlepping the stuff from Warwick to N. Kingstown and back. Problem was Bradley wasnt ready to have the space ready so setting up operations in RI was always going to be temporary, Amazon obviously desires a presence in this region and it should also be clear that they do not value their employees. The article mentioned the productivity of these workers at the North Kingstown facility so Ill bet they were kept in the dark too. Imagine being called to a mandatory meeting not to be thanked for your efforts in making both Amazon and Pinnacle a profit, but instead to be told “you all are fired”.