Amazon has announced that it is canceling the construction of a New York headquarters. The project was slated to be an “HQ2” and involved a $3 billion incentive package from New York City.
Protestors decried the incentive package and largely resisted the idea of Amazon further straining New York’s infrastructure. Another issue protestors brought against Amazon is their largely non-union workforce.
Amazon HQ2 Canceled
Amazon’s statement says that they had to back down from the project due to pressure from local politicians. Notably, Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, and Bill de Blasio, the mayor, had strong support for the Amazon HQ project.
“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. For Amazon, the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long-term.”
Mark Hamrick, an online bank analyst, had harsh words for those who opposed the Amazon HQ project. “For those who didn’t want Amazon to bring the promised 25,000 new jobs and added economic vitality to the area: Be careful what you wish for.”
The HQ2 project was abandoned following intense pushback by New Yorkers. Local union supporters and the city council both decried the project as being another example of corporate welfare. The generous incentive package of $3 billion was considered unseemly, given that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is the wealthiest man on Earth.
City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer had words of encouragement for the opposition to the Amazon headquarters. “Defeating an unprecedented act of corporate welfare is a triumph that should change the way we do economic development deals in our city and state forever,” Van Bramer stated.
A statement given on Thursday by Chelsea Connor, head of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, was quite an indictment of Amazon. “Rather than addressing the legitimate concerns that have been raised by many New Yorkers, Amazon says you do it our way or not at all, we will not even consider the concerns of New Yorkers – that’s not what a responsible business would do.”