By CCN: As widely reported, Amazon vastly scaled back its plans to build in New York City. While they planned to bring as many as 25,000 jobs to Queens, building a large campus and even funding local public education, they’re now reportedly developing a relatively small distribution center. The center in Woodside, Queens, will provide about 2,000 new working-class jobs.
Amazon Spreads the Love to Rural Massachusetts
Amazon is still looking to have a headquarters in New York, but it has reportedly chosen Manhattan over Queens. These reports are unconfirmed but based on apparently reliable sources.
Alexandria Occasio-Cortez and those who share her ideals celebrated when Amazon backed down from its plans to build the original “HQ2” campus.
Amazon still needs distribution in the northeastern United States.
According to local reporting, the retail giant will build another small distribution center in North Andover, Massachusetts, a community of fewer than 30,000 people at the last census. Unlike politicians representing New York City, former North Andover Town Manager Andrew Maylor (who currently serves as MA comptroller) celebrated the news on Twitter.
Its official @amazon will locate a distribution facility in @north_andover at the 1600 Osgood site.
— Andrew Maylor (@MA_Compt_Maylor) May 28, 2019
We did it!
— Marc (@marc9926) May 28, 2019
The new facility will bring around 1,500 working class jobs. Combined, the Woodside and North Andover sites are still not large enough to satisfy Amazon’s appetite for the region. Therefore other communities may expect interest from the world’s most valuable company in the coming months.
While Amazon has yet to speak on the matter, many parties place Ocasio-Cortez directly at fault for Amazon backing out of its larger deal in Queens. She is far from the only guilty party. Several labor Democrats in the borough also worked to squash the deal. The agreement would have provided Amazon, a company which has paid $0 in federal taxes recently, with $3 billion in incentives from government funds.
Anything is possible: today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world. https://t.co/nyvm5vtH9k
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 14, 2019
In a note of irony, Ocasio-Cortez reportedly spends thousands at Amazon, contributing to what she perceives as a problematic worker-boss relationship.
Old Ideas Damaging A New Economy?
Many of the same politicians who killed HQ2 are now working to kill the Woodside project as well. City Councilmember Costa Constantinides told TheCity.nyc:
“To allow this type of corporation to plant its flag in western Queens goes against our neighborhoods’ values, and we will make sure anyone who works in our district isn’t subjected to the long hours or harsh treatment people are allegedly subjected to elsewhere by Amazon.”
Workers at a nearby Staten Island Amazon facility have reportedly complained about certain labor practices, including extended hours. Workers in other parts of the country might be happy to get any work at all.
Amazon has yet to announce other plans for distribution centers in the northeast. The retail giant is one part of a vast puzzle of how to keep Americans working during a time of increased automation and globalization. A small community in Wisconsin was recently disappointed when Foxconn scaled back its plans for a facility.
Meanwhile, in Washington, Donald Trump continues to employ pre-globalization tactics, including extreme tariffs, which analysts warn will have unintended side effects such as diluting the buying power of dollars earned by working-class people.