The Real Deal New York

Workers cry foul in alleged Printing House union-busting

Building employees claim they make as little as $13 per hour and can't afford healthcare

May 05, 2014 08:00AM

421 Hudson Street

421 Hudson Street

A labor dispute is reportedly brewing between workers at luxury condominium building the Printing House, developer Myles Horn and the building’s board.

One longtime porter alleges that Horn, who headed the property’s recent round of renovations and conversions, removed him and fellow workers from the building payroll when they lead an effort to unionize. The workers told the Villager that they made as little as $13 per hour and lack the funds to pay for their healthcare packages. They also cited a litany of alleged abuses by Horn and the building’s condominium board.

Kevin Samuel, who told the news site he led the initiative to unionize, said the condo board placed the workers under the management of Planned Companies, which “reportedly has a long history of union busting, and has threatened or intimidated workers in other buildings who have supported S.E.I.U. 32BJ — the city’s building workers’ union — according to violations issued by the National Labor Relations Board.”

Neither Horn nor Planned Companies responded to the Villager’s requests for comment.

Bringing building worker wages up to union standards of $21 per hour would lift common charges by around 20 percent, or to roughly $115 for a $2.1 million condominium, according to the Villager.

The former industrial building, which once housed a printing house, features loft-like homes with 15-foot ceilings and 11-foot windows, in addition to newly constructed townhouses with private terraces and garden entrances. Amenities include a concierge service, an on-site private Equinox gym, complimentary one-year membership to a dog daycare facility, private storage and on-site valet service. The building was 50 percent sold after seven months on the market, and the average price per square foot for closed sales in the building is $1,835. Active listings average $1,918 per square foot, according to StreetEasy. [Villager]Julie Strickland

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