Mayor Eric Adams is urging CEOs like JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon to take the subway to work as he works to get city workers back to empty office buildings in Manhattan.
“We tell our business leaders, ‘Hey, get on the train!’ said Adams in an interview with the Financial Times. “We have to announce that New York is back.”
In addition to Dimon, Adams is hitting the bosses of Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and property giant Related Companies for “ditching their usual black cars” in favor of the Tube, according to the FT.
“We’re going to get him on the train,” Adams said of Dimon. “We’re going to get everyone on the train. He understands the need to reclaim his people and lead from the front.
JPMorgan did not respond to a request for comment.
Adams’ comments come as the mayor tries to quell an upsurge in violent crime that is scaring many people away from taking public transportation.
According to data from the Partnership for New York, only 8% of Manhattan office workers are back in the office five days a week, and 38% come into the office part-time on a hybrid work schedule.
That’s a stark change from the pre-pandemic period when 80% of employees were back in the office full-time, according to the group, which says crime rates are a big part of the problem.
“When we asked employers what would be the most effective factor in getting people back to the office, they said, ‘Reduce the presence of homeless and mentally ill people and expand police presence on streets and subways,’ President of Partnership for New York, Kathy Wilde told the Post earlier this month.
Adams, a former cop, ran on a pro-police platform and raised police funding by $200 million. Despite these efforts, Adams struggled to bring rampant crime under control. Shootings are up 75% from two years ago and hate crimes are up 103%. Overall crime increased by 34.2% last month.
Dimon stressed the need for workers to be in the office – and noted that young employees in particular are learning from an apprenticeship model.
Goldman Sachs chief David Solomon, meanwhile, called remote working an “aberration” and said that while the bank only had about 50% of employees back on any given day, it still expects to bring all staff back to term. Morgan Stanley chief James Gorman has criticized workers who go to restaurants but don’t show up at the office.
Not all junior employees agree with the strict office policy. The Post reported that some employees were threatening to quit over demands to return to the office five days a week.
And Adams said that as he tries to curb crime, he turns to former mayor Michael Bloomberg for advice. “Every Wednesday or so we chat,” Adams said. He added the best advice the former mayor shared, ‘ignore the press’.