NEW YORK (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc’s decision on Thursday to scrap its proposal to locate a second headquarters in the Queens borough of New York City ignited a sea of dueling reactions on Twitter, with some calling it a victory for working people while others said it meant that fewer people would work.
Demonstrators hold signs during a protest against Amazon in the Long Island City section of the Queens borough of New York, U.S., February 14, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Some people who praised the pullout included references to the wealth of Amazon’s chief executive and founder, Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man with an estimated fortune of about $135 billion, while many who saw the decision as a blow to New York cited the loss of potentially tens of thousands of new jobs.
The deal negotiated by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had offered the world’s largest online retailer about $3 billion in incentives, in exchange for the company’s promise of 25,000 new jobs in the Long Island City section of Queens.
One person identified as Aditya Mukerjee simply tweeted: “Goodbye, Amazon, and good riddance.”
Local politicians who had opposed the deal were quick to claim victory, while others heaped criticism on the politicians for helping to drive out Amazon.
“Such great leaders like @SenGianaris … exposed truth re Amazon, fought a hell of a battle vs most powerful company, richest man: WON. No more corporate welfare. Real economic dev,” tweeted Zephyr Teachout, a law professor who ran unsuccessfully for both governor of New York and state attorney general in recent years.
State Senator Mike Gianaris, a Democrat of Queens who was instrumental in fighting the deal, retweeted Teachout’s comment.
But politicians’ hand in the Amazon pullout also drew criticism on Twitter.
@MichaelIT162 tweeted, “@AOC got her wish…25,000 potential new jobs and $27.5 billion in tax revenue that goes with them are leaving her district,” in a reference to newly elected U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who on Twitter lauded the decision as a victory over “Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world.”
Labor groups had varying reactions.
“Amazon cancels #NYC plan for #HQ2 after refusing to listen to the voices of working families across New York. Every American should be outraged by the blind greed of @JeffBezos on display today,” the United Food and Commercial Workers union tweeted.
The New York Building Trades, an umbrella organization of affiliates representing 100,000 New York construction members, saw things differently: “Politics and pandering have won out over a once-in-a-generation investment in New York City’s economy, bringing with it tens of thousands of solid middle class jobs.”
Reporting by Leslie Adler; Editing by Lisa Shumaker