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Qns. Center Mall gives workers living wage

TimesLedger Newspapers

I read the letter to the editor “Queens Center Mall owner must help neighboring area” (Jan. 19-25) with interest. We are proud of the fact that Queens Center Mall is a generator of tax dollars for the city and state and we try to do as much as we can to be a positive force for the Queens community and a fair employer.

Macerich abides by New York state and city employment laws, including minimum wage laws, and is pleased that our employees earn incomes in line, and higher in some cases, than a living wage, and full-time employees are eligible for benefits. We expect but cannot force our retailers to do the same.

Our shopping center is a venue for many employers who manage their employees’ compensation. We do not have a voice in these relationships. We depend upon the federal and state guidelines to set standards.

This challenge was recently addressed by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan), who announced that the living wage bill compromise would not apply to tenants of companies that will receive city subsidies.

Queens Center will continue to be an economic hub for the community it serves, helping to power the local economy and sustain other local businesses. We are proud to be a part of this community and the ability of our centers to have continued positive impact.

This year alone we hosted a blood drive, toy and food drives, two job fairs and events to benefit Sunnyside Community Services, PS 206, the “Read-a-loud” program, The River Fund, The Salvation Army and Homes for the Homeless.

We will continue to provide our employees a living wage and encourage our tenants to do the same. In doing so, we hope to level the playing field and make a stronger economic platform for all New York employees.

Jeff Owen

Senior Property Manager

Queens Center Mall

Elmhurst

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