Amazon reconsiders NY headquarters over local opposition
09 February, 2019, 12:27 | Author: Regina Silva
A recent Amazon-commissioned poll shows that about 69% of registered voters in NY approve of the deal, but The Washington Post's report reveals that the vocal opposition may be enough to convince Amazon that it makes more sense to put its headquarters in a city that wants it.
The company is considering other options for the NY location, including relocating thousands of jobs to other areas and withdrawing altogether. The deal bypassed city council approval, adding to the consternation.
Though, both the governor and the mayor continue to fully support the deal to bring the tech giant to New York City. That makes the billions in subsidies seem gratuitous.
Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) also opposed Amazon's expansion there, telling the Fox Business Network that his goal was to see the deal "thrown into the garbage". "The idea that we need to subsidize them in any way blows our mind".
Several other issues have inspired outrage over what critics call the #HQ2scam. The company has also launched an aggressive mailer campaign to Queens residents "from your new neighbors at Amazon" to counter anti-Amazon flyers distributed by Gianaris.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez commented on the report via Twitter and said, "Can everyday people come together and effectively organize against creeping overreach of one of the world's biggest corporations?"
Finally, at a City Council meeting last week, the company refused to agree to remain neutral if Amazon workers attempted unionization in New York City, a red flag for a labor-friendly city.
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Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union - which has worked to help unionize Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island - pointed the blame at Amazon. It's very likely that this strong public outcry is one of the primary factors for Amazon to be allegedly rethinking its plans. But the mayor said he was "not sorry at all" that the city and state didn't go higher than $2.25 billion. This week, the State Senate recommended the appointment of Sen. It must be approved unanimously by the state Public Authorities Control Board.
Amazon has been derided by some NY politicians, who have been critical of the project and its almost $2 billion in incentives cities agreed to provide in exchange for an estimated 25,000 well-paid jobs.
Unlike New York, officials in Tennessee and Virginia have embraced the company's plans to bring jobs to their state, according to Washington Post.
Amazon has mailed flyers to Queens residents, touting the economic and jobs benefits of its NY expansion, trying to blunt opposition from some local lawmakers who said Amazon received too many tax and other benefits.
"The mayor fully expects Amazon to deliver on its promise to New Yorkers", De Blasio spokesman Eric Phillips said Friday. The company is hiring lobbyists and a "community affairs manager" in NY, so it's clearly still committed to the deal at some level.
No one city will be home to Amazon's second North American headquarters. The company could certainly skip over to Newark and re-open talks to place its offices there, if only to loosen resistance in New York City.
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