POINTS OF VIEW

FreshDirect: Stay out

Posted

Jason Ackerman, CEO of FreshDirect, obviously thinks very little of Bronxites. He thinks we won’t notice when he lies and panders while affirming that his company, which fought for exemption from the City’s Fair Wage standard, pays fair wages. He lies when he tries to make us believe that FreshDirect’s “recent” move to Mott Haven is a fait accompli. FreshDirect has not moved to the South Bronx and it never will.

He lies because of who he thinks Bronxites are. Let’s be brutally frank, and not hide behind politically correct euphemisms: Mr. Ackerman’s attitude can only stem from one place — condescension. But I have painful news for you, Mr. Ackerman: everything you have assumed about us Bronxites is wrong, and in your rush to wish this PR nightmare away, you further insult and galvanize us.

You assume that because Mott Haven is poor, and mostly black and brown, we will take any jobs in exchange for your pollution, asthma and corporate thievery. You think you can talk about a few electric trucks and we will be suitably shocked and awed into oblivion. No, Mr. Ackerman: your 2,000 truck trips will clog our streets to a crawl no matter the fuel type, bringing more pollution and health problems to our neighborhood and destroying our quality of life.

You deem our input about your sinister designs on our publicly-owned waterfront unnecessary. Of course in your parallel universe, strange and twisted things happen. You proudly show off a multi-million dollar Soho apartment in New York Magazine while shamelessly seeking hundreds of millions of our tax dollars to subsidize your ventures. You ask for government handouts while spending tens of thousands of dollars on lobbyists to promote your Wrecking of the Bronx and try to sway our politicians (which isn’t working: they are listening to us). And talk about fair wages: you “paid” your hard-working laborers by calling immigration when they tried to organize. Your company is the poster boy of unfair wages in New York City; your own fancy neighbors have begun complaining about your constantly-idling trucks; yet you come to these pages and lie. In fact, your letter to The Press last week was your first public comment in the Bronx media. Riverdale, you must have thought, is white and wealthy and disproportionately powerful like yourself. Riverdale will understand.

Mr. Ackerman, we have a very clear vision: our waterfront as a health enhancement site. Your stunning environmental racism and patronizing disrespect do not confuse us. You can live in your fantasy world, threatening to move to New Jersey, blabbing about ten electric trucks, lying about wages, irresponsibly name-dropping your fashionable business partners (though you may find they don’t appreciate it).

But consider yourself warned: the South Bronx always keeps it real.

Libertad Guerra is a Mott Haven resident. The Points of View column is open to all readers.

Comments

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monxolopez

Take that Ackerman!!! And then, take the lawsuit!!! These hypocritical corrupt capitalists will learn that there are consequences to their shamelessness and crimes. We still haven't fully recovered from the pillage and plunder from our 'job-creators' downtown, when here comes the new horde of crooks; begging for our money, bullying their way around, pushing workers and communities aside to make a buck and live the mafioso life. Well, it happens that Ackerman is dealing with the South Bronx baby!!! Didn't he even bother to check the history of the place?!! You know, this place survived arson and mayhem for decades, and it is still alive and thriving...it will chew and spit Ackerman like nothing. Not only did the city subsidized FreshDirect early on, now they want more money. Not only did they called Homeland Security on their workers, it demands to be excluded from fair wage provisions. Pushing it, pushing it. Well, 'don't push me coz I'm close to the edge!!! Mr. Ackerman. Here is the result of all the bad karma: a community in open rebellion against you faux capitalists and the wannabe Robert Moses government officials. Seth Pinksy, from the EDC, wants to be the new Robert Moses....well, here you have found your Jane Jacobs. And we know how that turned out last time. Brace yourselves, the South Bronx is burning with indignation, and the gloves are off...Viva SouthBronxUnite! BoycottFreshDirect!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012
urayoan

Right on! Fresh Direct underestimates the South Bronx. Their labor history is shameful, their service is expensive, and, apparently, their duplicity is matched only by their hubris. SouthBronxUnite!

T. U. Noel, Ph.D.

Professor, writer, and Bronx resident.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012
emorale

It is unclear from Mr. Ackerman's comments what combination of what the ratio of electric to natural gas vehicles his company would deploy. It is equally unclear how we can consider $11.25 an hour a "fair" wage. Large-scale development has too often been handed outrageous tax exemptions and careful consideration of environmental impact has too often been overlooked. Waterfront access and quality of life are not guaranteed by these sort of hastily implemented deals. Sentiments expressed by Ms. Guerra and South Bronx Unite are part of a process that hopefully gain citywide momentum and give birth to a new kind of urban policy that puts people first.

Ed Morales

Mott Haven

Wednesday, June 13, 2012
emorale

It is unclear from Mr. Ackerman's comments what combination of what the ratio of electric to natural gas vehicles his company would deploy. It is equally unclear how we can consider $11.25 an hour a "fair" wage. Large-scale development has too often been handed outrageous tax exemptions and careful consideration of environmental impact has too often been overlooked. Waterfront access and quality of life are not guaranteed by these sort of hastily implemented deals. Sentiments expressed by Ms. Guerra and South Bronx Unite are part of a process that hopefully gain citywide momentum and give birth to a new kind of urban policy that puts people first.

Ed Morales

Mott Haven

Wednesday, June 13, 2012