Amazon Scraps Plan For Second Headquarters
Amazon.com Inc scrapped the plan of bringing the company’s headquarters and thousands of jobs to New York City on Thursday. This year-long process was scrapped with a few phone calls. Jay Carney, a top executive at Amazon.com, told Andrew Cuomo, the New York Governor that the Amazon.com will not be going ahead with plans of investing $2.5 billion in order to build a second office in Queens. Carney repeated the same to the New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Carney worked as the press secretary for President Barack Obama before joining Amazon.com.
This sudden move blindsided the company’s allies and opponents. Amazon.com said that the decision was made in the last 24 hours by the senior leadership team as well as Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder. However, some measures indicate that the decision was in the making for months, with the community opposition signaling to the company that it was not welcome.
Amazon, a Seattle based company, captivated elected officials in North America in 2017 after it announced its plans of creating more than 50,000 jobs via a second headquarters. States and cities vied for the economic stimulus. New Jersey offered $7 billion in potential credits. The mayor of an Atlanta suburb even promised to make Jeff Bezos mayor for life of a new city named “Amazon.” The backlash began as soon as Amazon announced splitting up the offices between Long Island City neighborhood and Arlington, Virginia.
City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and the New York State Senator Michael Gianaris said that it was unfathomable to assume that they would sign a $3 billion check to Amazon taking the New York City’s overcrowded schools and crumbling subways into consideration. City Council meetings held in December and January gave Amazon executives a look into the stern opposition they could expect from labor organizers and elected officials. Protesters started interrupting meetings. People began unfurling signs against Amazon.com. This established the fact that many local and state officials were not interested in collaborating on the path forward, although strong support for the project remained from other parties.
A union leader along with other labor organizers met with Cuomo and other officials from Amazon on Wednesday. The group is attempting to organize workers at one of the Amazon facilities at Staten Island. Amazon scrapping its plans of opening a second headquarters in New York City came as a shock to its allies and opponents.