Published: Sat, February 09, 2019
Economy | By

Amazon may end NYC headquarters plans due to backlash

Amazon may end NYC headquarters plans due to backlash

The announcement, however, was immediately by local NY politicians.

In December, Qunnipac Unviersity polled 1,075 registered voters in New York City and 57% said they approved of Amazon coming to Long Island city, while 26% said they opposed the move.

Under grilling at a recent city council hearing - where he further angered critics by saying Amazon would oppose any effort by NY workers to unionize - company vice-president Brian Huseman dropped a veiled hint that the giant could pull out.

De Blasio argued in November that "this is a giant step on our path to building an economy in New York City that leaves no one behind". "The idea that we need to subsidize them in any way blows our mind".

Detractors-including including US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents a nearby district in Queens and the Bronx-have pointed to the potential neighborhood disruption, strains on an already congested public transit system, and rising rent and property prices that could push out existing residents from nearby neighborhoods.

Several other issues have inspired outrage over what critics call the #HQ2scam.

The Legislature and governor would have to sign off on a New York City-only millionaires tax. Plus, adding 25,000 high-paying jobs to this corner of Queens will only make gentrification worse, activists warn.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said Friday he planned to reach out directly to Bezos to pitch the Magic City.

Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, said if the Amazon deal falls apart they will have nobody to blame but themselves. It's very likely that this strong public outcry is one of the primary factors for Amazon to be allegedly rethinking its plans. She said her neighbors may have given the prospect of Amazon a warmer welcome had the subsidy package not been so large. This week, the State Senate recommended the appointment of Sen. About $1.5 billion of the grants for HQ2 come from the state and could go before this board, and the way the board is structured, Gianaris would have an effective veto over those funds.

The Citibank building, the site of a new workplace for Amazon employees, is seen in Long Island City of the Queens borough of NY, U.S., November 14, 2018.

"The question is whether it's worth it if the politicians in NY don't want the project, especially with how people in Virginia and Nashville have been so welcoming", one person familiar with Amazon's plans told The Washington Post.

"With their long history of abusing workers, partnering with ICE to aid their persecution of immigrant communities, and contributing to gentrification and a major housing crisis in their hometown of Seattle, New Yorkers are right to raise their concerns and opposition to this plan". What benefit the company would actually get was unclear.

Meanwhile, city council members last week pressed executives on their plans and criticized Amazon for being an anti-union company (New York is largely a pro-labor city).

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