New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio slammed Amazon on Sunday for its sudden decision to scrap plans for a headquarters in Queens, decrying the company’s abandonment of his constituents.
“The bottom line is this is an example of an abuse of corporate power,” the Democrat told “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd. “They had an agreement with the people of New York City.”
The mayor appeared furious over Thursday’s news that Amazon has ended its plans for a new facility in Long Island City in the face of some community opposition, dashing hopes of the plan’s advocates that it would bring 25,000 jobs to the area.
“Amazon just took their ball and went home, and what they did was confirm people’s worst fears about corporate America,” de Blasio said.
He called the controversy that preceded the plan’s abandonment a case of “the one percent dictating to everyone else even though we gave them a fair deal.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) was among the prominent opponents who raised objections to the nearly $3 billion in government incentives Amazon had been given to locate in Queens. She panned the company’s “corporate greed” and record of “worker exploitation” as she applauded its decision to back out of the deal last week.
While de Blasio made clear he did not take issue with the progressive critiques, he said he suspects Amazon “couldn’t handle the heat in the kitchen.”
“What does that say to working people that a company would leave them high and dry simply because some people raised criticism?” he asked. “They were more concerned about their corporate image.”