Updated 04/13/2012 05:49 PM
Local Labor Leaders Protest PepsiCo Project Wave Site
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Labor officials are accusing PepsiCo and Project Wave of taking millions in local taxpayer dollars in the form of tax incentives and giving nothing back to the local community.
Officials from the Rochester Building and Construction Trades Council, along with the Coalition for Economic Justice, say PepsiCo and local economic development officials in Genesee County are doing nothing to help the unemployed.
They claim the current unemployment rate in Genesee County is nearing 10 percent, and they say there are many skilled workers currently unemployed in Genesee County who could do the job faster and more efficiently.
"After this county gives them $11 million in tax breaks and said grants and grants from New York State, they tell the people of this county they're not good enough to work on this project, they need to bring people in from other states and other regions in the nation," said David Young, Rochester Building and Trades Council.
Labor leaders say a video showing project workers' vehicles with out of state license plates is proof that Project Wave is hiring out of state. The video was posted to YouTube on Wednesday.
Because Project Wave is a private corporate project, it is not beholden to any bidding laws or public regulation laws.
PepsiCo released a statement saying:
"In fact we have developed a local labor pledge, with Genesee County's economic development center and The Haskell Company, our design build partner, in support of this commitment. Our pledge is to use a fair and competitive selection process for the construction of our manufacturing facility. We want to use as many New York State and local subcontractors and suppliers as reasonable."
The Haskell Company also released its statement later this afternoon, through spokesman David Balz, who said that "it is still very early in the project, and it seems someone made a rush to judgment based on some license plates."