Following months of community and political opposition, Amazon on Thursday announced it was canceling a $3 billion plan to open a headquarters in New York City — a massive blow to Mayor de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo, who rolled out the red carpet for the company just months ago.
The project would have brought 25,000 jobs to a campus in Queens, state and city officials had said — but it was met with fierce opposition from some elected officials, on whom Cuomo heaped blame Thursday.
"[A] small group politicians put their own narrow political interests above their community — which poll after poll showed overwhelmingly supported bringing Amazon to Long Island City — the state's economic future and the best interests of the people of this state. The New York State Senate has done tremendous damage. They should be held accountable for this lost economic opportunity,” Cuomo said.
In a statement, the online retail giant blamed the Valentine’s Day breakup on the frosty reception it had received from local pols.
“After much thought and deliberation, we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens,” the statement said. “While polls show that 70% of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City.”
Amazon's anti-union stance did not help its case with critics. While it had committed to using union labor to build its offices and for building services — earning the support of the Building and Construction Trades and SEIU Local 32BJ — a top Amazon executive testified before the City Council that it would fight any union bids by New York staff.
But union officials said they’d made progress in the 24 hours before the deal imploded. The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, Teamsters and AFL-CIO met with four top Amazon executives and Cuomo Wednesday, according to RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum.
“I think the richest man on Earth feels that nobody is supposed to tell him anything,” Appelbaum said. “I think that on Valentine’s Day, Jeff Bezos showed his contempt for New Yorkers. He says I'm going to tell you what it's going to be, you either accept it or I leave. we were in negotiations — he doesn't feel he has to negotiate with anyone. It's a shameful performance by the richest man in the world. It's a worse scandal than the National Enquirer.”
An anonymous reader made an nice observation on this a few days ago:
"The deal should've been negotiated transparently, with pros and cons discussed publicly, including what jobs and benefits (GED completion, skill training, childcare, etc.) Amazon would provide."
But #poorBezos and amazon decided, along with the idiots governor and mayor, to do all this in secret. And you know what, this LIC deal was as big a hoax as their nationwide city exploration pageant. Really, why else would they decide on two other cities for what's suppose to be a second headquarters, which is an oxymoron itself. This was to poach more data from the government and also to make pariahs of their opponents, notably on the rising progressive movement and unions.
I know a lot of people hate Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez here, but this isn't her district. She only made a few comments on this rancid deal and amazon and the local news media are trying to tie her for their abrupt departure. That is cheap manipulation of the public.