Friday, 22 February, 2019


Amazon may end NYC headquarters plans due to backlash

Amazon rethinks plan for New York HQ amid fierce opposition, report says Amazon reportedly reconsidering New York location amid growing resistance movement
Conrad Doyle | 09 February, 2019, 12:29

Amazon is re-evaluating its decision to build a campus in New York City, The Washington Post reported on Friday, citing two anonymous sources.

If Amazon backtracks on its plans to build a second headquarters in NYC, it will be a pretty significant blow to the company, considering it held a highly-publicized contest of sorts to choose which American city would be the best place to house the new complex. Arlington, Virginia, the other new headquarters location, has been much more amenable, as has Nashville, Tennessee, where Amazon plans to bring 5,000 new jobs at a new "operations hub."

Michael Gianaris said the deal gives massive corporate welfare from scarce state dollars to one of the wealthiest corporations in the world.

"Whether it's building a pipeline of local jobs through workforce training or funding computer science classes for thousands of New York City students, we are working hard to demonstrate what kind of neighbor we will be", the statement read.

"And if they stop Amazon from coming to New York, they're going to have the people of New York State to explain it to".

The biggest threat to Amazon's LIC headquarters came when the New York State Senate appointed Gianaris to the Public Authorities Control Board, which will preside over approval of Amazon's development plan.

The Washington Post - citing two people who were familiar with company's thinking - said the company is considering pulling out of the deal after continually running into resistance from some local ny officials. The company also said that it will "separately apply for as-of-right incentives including New York City's Industrial & Commercial Abatement Program (ICAP) and New York City's Relocation and Employment Assistance Program (REAP)". "I think most of the neighborhood hasn't wanted them here". She said her neighbors may have given the prospect of Amazon a warmer welcome had the subsidy package not been so large. Local union leaders have repeatedly claimed the online retail giant is "anti-worker" and "anti-union" and called conditions in Amazon factories around the county "deplorable". The company said it will receive performance-based incentives of $1.525 billion from the state of NY, including an average $48,000 for each job it creates. Westin has helped rally opposition to the deal from labor unions, community groups and prominent politicians like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose district is adjacent to the proposed site.

Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, both Democrats, are pushing for the Amazon deal after being instrumental in securing it.

Protestors unfurl anti-Amazon banners during a New York City Council Finance Committee hearing on January 30. The company is hiring lobbyists and a "community affairs manager" in NY, so it's clearly still committed to the deal at some level.

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