Amazon.com is reconsidering locating part of its new headquarters in NY because of local opposition, the Washington Post reported on Friday, citing two people familiar with the global retailer's thinking.
Amazon executives have had internal discussions recently to reassess the situation in NY and explore alternatives, the Post reported.
"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 the company's plans told the Post.
The Post added that no specific plans to abandon NY have been made and it's possible Amazon could use them as a threat to pressure NY lawmakers. In Seattle, executives on multiple teams have been notified they'd have to relocate to NY, two other people said.
Protestors rally against Amazon and the company's plans to move their second headquarters to the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, at New York City Hall, January 30, 2019 in New York City. "It really feels like this threat of Amazon to leave has been choreographed with the governor" to put pressure on Senate Democrats, he said.
The Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon.
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Several local officials and newly elected Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose district borders the NY site, opposed the Amazon deal.
Amazon is likely threatening this pullout to concentrate minds among NY politicians, in an effort to pin blame on them for "losing" Amazon. "You're not there to play politics, you're there to do what's right for the people of the State of NY and what they did here is wrong". Local union leaders have repeatedly claimed the online retail giant is "anti-worker" and "anti-union" and called conditions in Amazon factories around the county "deplorable". The state gave them massive tax breaks to try to keep them around, gutting the local government's budget and shifting to burden to the taxpayers, but the company wound up nearly entirely leaving anyway.
A critic of the plan, Queens lawmaker Senator Michael Gianaris, was appointed to a state senate panel that has the power to block Amazon's campus, local media including the New York Times have reported. Protestors also disrupted the hearing. No specific plans have been made to abandon the New York City headquarters so far.
Basically, the whole thing could be summed up as "nice Amazon deal, New York".
At a contentious City Council meeting last week, Amazon's public policy director Brian Huseman touted the deal's benefits for the city, but also said that Amazon wants to invest in a "community that wants us". Plus, adding 25,000 high-paying jobs to this corner of Queens will only make gentrification worse, activists warn. Amazon has done so in Northern Virginia. But apparently New York's population is different, and that threatens those people.