Occupy Essex, an offshoot of the broader Occupy movement that is focused on fighting corruption and cronyism against major banks and corporations based in New Jersey has set its sights on one of Newark NJ’s most conspicuous players, Prudential Financial Inc.
The insurance and financial service company which has been headquartered in Newark since its inception in 1875 has been contemplating building a new corporate headquarters in Newark while utilizing a tax credit granted by state officials for companies coming into New Jersey and providing a minimum of 400 new jobs.
This is where Occupy Essex took umbrage; they maintain that since the company is already located in NJ and the tax credit should not apply to them. The occupy movement goes on to assail Prudential for their advertising spending during the Superbowl while trying to get a tax credit that by definition does not apply to them. The Occupy Essex literature is littered with adjectives such as “posh” and “lavish” meant to incite a visceral response.
They threaten to “shut down business as usual” near the headquarters in Newark until politicians in Trenton, the state capitol, shut down the deal.
Prudential however, maintains that they have not yet decided to proceed with construction of the building and that in addition to the 400 jobs that they have to create to receive the tax credit they will also be creating approximately 2,000 construction jobs. Bob DeFillippo, Chief Communications Officer for Prudential said, “We are committed to maintaining our headquarters and facilities in Newark. Prudential’s support in Newark is well known. Recently we announced $3.4 million in grants for economic, education and youth development initiatives in Newark and across the nation.”