In a surprising change of heart by the mega-online retailer, Amazon has announced that it will no longer be building a new company headquarters in New York City. The decision comes as Amazon faced a massive pushback from local government and union leaders, who have voiced their grievances with Amazon receiving planned government incentives to the tune of nearly $3 billion.
After a lengthy search for a location for its new company campus, Amazon had decided on Long Island, Queens, which would be one of the two major cities chosen for the massive project. Amazon claims that a majority of New York City citizens supported the proposed headquarters, which would have brought an estimated 25,000 jobs to the city. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo, setting aside their political differences, lobbied intensely for the Amazon deal, promising the company generous tax incentives to build within city limits.
Despite Amazon’s claims however the deal faced fierce opposition from the beginning as many New Yorkers considered the campus an insult to the unions of the city as well as an egregious misuse of resources and land. According to a report from TechCrunch, the proposed build site had reportedly already been set aside for affordable housing, schools, and small retail spaces, a much-needed boost to the cities failing infrastructure.
To combat this resistance, a meeting was held between Amazon and union leaders from the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union and Teamster. The meeting concluded with Amazon refusing to compromise, a stance the company has stood by throughout negotiations. The opposing unions were reportedly willing to work with Amazon if the company would not actively participate in anti-union behavior. Amazon later stated that it would not agree to such terms.
Now, Amazon has announced in a blog post that the plans have been shelved and that no replacement headquarters location would be sought. The post goes on to explain that Amazon requires positive engagement from local government and groups, which it felt it was not receiving from New York City organizations. The statement also thanks Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio for their efforts and states how much Amazon still loves the city of New York.
Plans for the other major headquarters are still moving forward while just last December Amazon reported record-breaking holiday season sales.
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