Union chief Johnny Doc pitches Philly as HQ2 to Amazon's Bezos

Amazon-Jeff Bezos
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos at the Washington Post, which he owns, in 2016 (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

From Philadelphia building-trades union leader John Dougherty’s Sept. 15 letter, inviting Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to locate his “second headquarters” in Philly:

Dear Mr. Bezos: Amazon’s vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company. Philadelphia’s vision is to be the best place on earth for Amazon’s second headquarters …

You stated your interest in a city where you can grow your company to 50,000 employees over the next 20 years, a home base that can hold your interest … a strong sense of place, a rich cultural life, great transit systems, smart young people and plenty of infrastructure-ready land that is close to both the business center and top universities … density, walkability, and diversity … some of the nation’s finest universities … tech-savvy millennials … Philadelphia, the birthplace of America, offers all of these desirable attributes at a more affordable cost. …

As the elected leader of the Philadelphia Building & Construction Trades Council, I am writing you to express our sincere offer of partnership …  Every construction project undertaken in Philadelphia is constructed by members of our Council. We pride ourselves on safe, quality construction accomplished on time and on budget …

Currently, we are partnering with Penn Gene Therapy and we’re well into constructing the Comcast II Tower, which will be the tallest building in the city. … (We are) committed to diversity. … Our Apprentice Training programs are college accredited. … If there are any additional programs Amazon would like to see here, we’d be more than happy to accommodate you. …

Council stands ready to support every aspect of Amazon’s construction process, whether it is relationships with our local or state governments to ease the process of initiating or completing projects, or customizing our construction activities to fit your needs. … We are committed to a seamless and efficient process to construct your campus. …

We put our money where our mouth is by investing our pension dollars in marquee projects like East Market, which is reviving an entire section … (Enclosed is) a letter from the Fluor Corporation, a multinational engineering and construction firm. Fluor had apprehensions about working with the Philadelphia Building Trades, largely due to the propaganda campaign waged by nonunion contractors … (Fluor says in the letter) the company is ecstatic over our performance (after) more than five million man-hours. …

Camera icon ( ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / Staff Photographer )
John J. Dougherty, longtime business agent for IBEW Local 98, runs the Building & Construction Trades Council in Philadelphia

The innovative thinkers who founded this great nation through revolution did so right here in the historic City of Philadelphia. … (Besides college and cultural institutions) you can go to Famous 4th Street Deli for the best corned beef sandwiches, Frank & Luigi’s for the buffalo chicken pizza, Termini Brothers for the cannolis, or Alma de Cuba for the most authentic and delicious Cuban cuisine. …

We may not have Seahawks, but we have Eagles. And Flyers and Phillies and 76ers. I hope you enjoy the enclosed jerseys of our teams and accept them as a “Welcome to Philly” gift. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or if I can be of any additional assistance.