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Why Amazon is caught in an unexpected fight in New York



The company is working on a recruitment plan that will be announced at the next hearing in the city council, according to a person familiar with the company's discussions requesting anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

Amazon has also been encouraged by recent polls, including one on Monday at the Siena College Research Institute, which broadly approved the agreement in Queens, including among Union households. The support was even stronger among black and Spanish registered voters than among whites.

For their part, opponents have not gathered around a set of targets. Some will see agreement scrapped; others want the company to be more receptive to unions; Still others will go much further and dismantle the company altogether.

Herr. Gianaris, who urged Amazon to come to New York in a 2017 letter, argued with opponents of the Long Island City agreement on Saturday.

When he asked what he wanted from the company, he did not respond directly.

"Their behavior does not present a way forward," Gianaris says about Amazon. "They are sitting there threatening to leave, something they did to Seattle as they made them bow to their will.

"Amazon is big, but it's no bigger than New York. They're not going to tell us what to do."

Councilor Jimmy Van Bramer from Queens, another once the advocate became a strong opponent, was more direct. "I want the deal to be scraped in its entirety," he said. "They want to crush unions. They want to work with ICE. They want to bypass social reporting. They want to take gigantic grants. I don't see them changing a bit and yes, yes, they are not welcome here."

The fight has drawn in trade unions on both sides. It has highlighted divisions between long-term residents of public housing in Long Island City, most of them black and Spanish, and richer recent arrivals, many of which are white. It has become a kind of litmus test for progressive bona fides on the left side of the Democratic Party in New York, revealing the same error lines – pragmatism to the principle; quick against intentional change; capitalism against socialism – which ranks the party nationally.


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