Amazon pulls plug on New York HQ expansion despite construction workers’ support for the initiative

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Amazon has pulled the plug on its planned Queens/Long Island second headquarters expansion, citing resistance from some politicians and community leaders who objected to the company’s way of doing business, and the scale of subsidies initially offered to induce the technology company to grow in New York.

One sensitive issue was unionization, but at least as far as the construction unions were concerned, the expansion plans would have represented good news.

In January, unions supporting the deal including the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, staged a rally outside City Hall immediately after one held by opponents, The New York Times reported.

While Amazon planned to add about 25,000 jobs in the region, opponents said the company did not deserve the estimated $3 billion in incentives.

Despite the walk-away from the headquarters plans, the company will still expand its New York operations (currently employing about 5,000 people), with additional jobs especially in advertising, fashion and web services.

“We are extremely disappointed that with the majority of New Yorkers supporting Amazon’s selection of Long Island City for its HQ2, political posturing got in the way of good government policy,” the New York Building Congress said in a statement. “It is sad that the loud voices of a few can derail an opportunity that would benefit countless people. New York City is the new capital of the tech industry, and this is where Amazon belongs.

“Their decision to not build its headquarters here will cost the city tens of thousands of high-quality jobs, leave a lasting, negative economic impact, and send a cautionary message to companies around the world about calling New York home. Despite this setback, we will continue working with Amazon and other tech companies to ensure their continued investment across the five boroughs.”

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