The Real Deal New York

Posts Tagged ‘labor unions’

  • Governor Andrew Cuomo

    Governor Andrew Cuomo

    WEEKENDEDITION The recent doormen pact and transit workers deal could signal better payouts for union workers.

    Discussions regarding raises for the city’s municipal unions have not fared well from the perspective of union workers, due in part to the city’s inability to pay what the unions want, the precedent set by the three-year pay freeze the governor imposed on state workers, and that private sector raises have been slight during that time. [more]

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  • Renderings of Empire Outlets mall and New York Wheel in Staten Island

    Renderings of Empire Outlets mall and New York Wheel in Staten Island

    Labor and city officials rallied against BFC Partners’ proposed Staten Island outlet mall and 200-room hotel, decrying its only partial use of union workers. [more]

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  • A rendering of the Zeckendorfs’ 50 United Nations Plaza

    Developers of major projects can increasingly opt to hire nonunion contractors, a trend that is helping them to cut labor costs and force construction unions to somewhat toe the line, Crain’s reported.  [more]

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  • From left: Joseph Moinian and Gary LaBarbera

    A report card commissioned by a new union advocacy organization that gave the Moinian Group’s operations an “F” has several flaws and seems to unsystematically target the developer for its penchant for hiring nonunion workers. In its report, Build up NYC, a coalition of labor groups including 32BJ SEIU, the Hotel Trades Union, and the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, excoriated the Moinian Group for a laundry list of alleged failings at its buildings, as well as a poor record of worker relations…. [more]

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  • A rendering of the second phase of the City Point development

    The mammoth City Point development in downtown Brooklyn has become a battleground over the use of nonunion workers, the Wall Street Journal reported. The 1.8 million-square-foot project is being built on city-owned land and receives affordable housing subsidies. Washington Square Partners, which along with Acadia Realty Trust is developing the 670,000-square-foot retail space, told the Journal that construction would involve at least some nonunion workers in order to cut costs, expedite work and use more minority, local and female workers. Developers added that a portion of the 700-unit apartment project would also hire nonunion workers…. [more]

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  • Dr. Simeon Schwartz

    Brooklyn has become a hot spot for new medical practices, Crain’s reported. Next month, Freelancers Union will open a clinic at 408 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn and, in January of next year, Mount Sinai Hospital is slated to set up a large group practice at 1 Pierrepont Plaza in Brooklyn Heights. The Manhattan-based Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York last month opened a location at 26 Court Street in Downtown Brooklyn.

    In addition, three clinics that cater exclusively to senior citizens enrolled in the Empire Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plans will open this month in Flatbush, East Flatbush and Coney Island. [more]

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  • Rendering of Hudson Yards

    The Related Companies has won wage-cutting agreements with some four dozen construction unions in its efforts to save money at the $15 billion development of Hudson Yards, Crain’s reported.

    The developer, one of the most outspoken for the need to cut construction costs during contract negotiations with unions last year, got the groups to agree to cut wages and benefit packages by 10 percent to ensure they would be commissioned to work the massive construction project expected to carry on for the next decade. The deal is not yet final. [more]

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  • Sam Chang

    Two organizers for the construction laborers union were indicted on charges of inciting a riot and unlawful assembly, the New York Times reported. Robert James and Dennis Lee are accused of the crimes in connection with a protest outside a nonunion construction site at a hotel rising on 36th Street last September.

    The indictment is the culmination of a six-year battle between unions and Cava Construction, which is owned by a Carmine Della Cava, reputed to be a member of the Genovese crime family. [more]

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  • New York state has unnecessarily spent an extra $3 billion annually on public construction projects in attempts to follow the prevailing wage law, according to a new report by Columbia University cited by Crain’s. State law requires that it pay union rates when at least 30 percent of the workers on a project are members of the union to ensure the government doesn’t undercut a local job market. [more]

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  • Equity Residential Chairman Sam Zell and 400 Park Avenue South

    One of unionized labor’s harshest critics, Equity Residential Chairman Sam Zell has chosen union labor to construct the $190 million Park Avenue South tower he’s developing with Toll Brothers. Crain’s reported that Zell’s construction manager on the site, recently penalized Lend Lease Construction, struck an agreement with the Building and Construction Trades Council that will reduce standard union labor costs by 20 percent.  [more]

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  • 370 Jay Street

    The Transport Workers’ Union is not pleased about the recently announced deal to turn 370 Jay Street, an office building in Downtown Brooklyn that houses Metropolitan Transportation Authority offices and equipment, into New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress, NY1 reported.

    Members of the union packed a meeting of the MTA board in today, urging them to vote down the deal to abandon the agency’s former transit headquarters in the Downtown Brooklyn neighborhood. [more]

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  • 47-20 Center Boulevard and Council member Jimmy Van Bramer

    The Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ petitioned TF Cornerstone yesterday in Long Island City, the New York Daily News reported, alleging the developer doesn’t provide proper benefits to workers in its LIC buildings and “bullies” workers who want to unionize.

    TF Cornerstone workers and City Council member Jimmy Van Bramer delivered the petition to the leasing office at 47-20 Center Boulevard, signed by about 430 tenants in the 485-unit building, where the News noted rents for two-bedroom apartments are $5,400 per month. [more]

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  • alternate<br /></a>text
    Developer Bruce Ratner and a rendering of the Atlantic Yards building (credit: Shop Architects)
    Now that Bruce Ratner has decided to go the less labor-intensive, prefabricated route with the majority of his Atlantic Yards development site, union laborers are scrambling to save whatever jobs they can. According to the Brooklyn Paper, they have agreed to take massive pay cuts in order to guarantee union jobs for the massive construction complex.

    While it could not determine the exact amount of money lost to laborers, the Brooklyn Paper noted that carpenters, who make as much as $90 an hour in wages and benefits at traditional construction sites, typically rake in just $30 per hour when working inside prefabricated production factories. … [more]

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  • Howard Rothschild, president of the Realty
    Advisory Board

    Commercial building owners are preparing for contract talks with the Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ, which represents about 25,000 New York City area workers in over 1,000 commercial buildings, and whose city commercial contract ends Dec. 31, the New York Post reported.

    The union negotiated an impressive four-year contract at the end of 2007, providing for a 4.8 percent yearly average salary bump in wages and benefits for workers. At the end of this year, the weekly salary for a Class A building “handyperson” will be $990.92 plus benefits, or $80,960 per year, the Post said. Office cleaners, porters and elevator operators will earn $905.02 per week, or $76,540 a year with benefits. … [more]

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  • An Irvington, N.Y., woman was charged with stealing millions from members of the construction workers’ union, Local 147. Melissa King, 60, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court on Friday to stealing some, but not all, of the $42 million she was charged with embezzling from pension and employee benefit plans from her company, King Care, which administered benefits on behalf of Local 147, LoHud.com reported. “Um, I plead guilty, but I don’t plead guilty to millions of dollars,’’ King said. According to U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara, King used the millions to fund an extravagant lifestyle, which included spending millions on antique jewelry and horses.
    [more]

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  • Though two dozen construction unions’ contracts were renewed this summer with revised terms, according to Crain’s the biggest changes are yet to come.

    Operating engineers, painters and steamfitters, among other unions, agreed to unprecedented concessions amidst the faltering economy, helping to ensure that owners will continue to call upon them for construction work.

    But Real Estate Board of New York members and others are upset that wages for carpenters and concrete workers were cut 20 percent only for residential and hotel projects of up to 16 and 20 stories, respectively. … [more]

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  • Representatives from Central Park’s Boathouse restaurant and the New York Hotel Trades Council are still negotiating in a “Hail Mary” attempt to solve a unionization dispute before a federal labor board instigates a legal complaint, the Wall Street Journal reported.

    “Any decision by the [National Labor Relations Board] has been put off until at least next Wednesday while we continue to negotiate,” a spokesperson for the Boathouse said in a statement.

    The meeting with NLRB was requested by the Boathouse after management heard of the labor board’s inclination to progress with a complaint, the Journal said. NLRB’s complaint will allege that the restaurant illegally threatened workers and punished more than 15 of them for supporting the union, an NLRB spokesperson said. [WSJ]

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  • Union drama at WTC may not be over yet

    August 05, 2011 08:55AM

    Concrete laborers may have returned to work at the World Trade Center yesterday but labor turmoil at the site is not over, the New York Times reported. Another clash with the carpenters union threatens to result in strike if a deal is not struck with management today, when their contract expires. A strike was authorized Wednesday evening by a union that represents around 22,000 carpenters.
    “You can’t stop it,” said Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York. “If it does happen, I don’t think it will be broad-based.”
    A spokesperson with the New York City District Council of Carpenters said an agreement was possible. Carpenters, the spokesperson said, are negotiating with several contractor groups, including the Cement League…. [more]

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  • Concrete workers that abandoned some construction sites in the wake of their expired labor contract were ordered to return to their jobs Tuesday night. Crain’s reported that an arbitrator ruled that concrete laborers at West 57th Street, Madison Square Garden, Barclays Center and Tower 2 of the World Trade Center were in violation of a no-strike provision in labor agreements at those sites.

    The Cement and Concrete Workers District Council plans to appeal the ruling, Crain’s said, as it will argue that the no-strike agreement is not applicable since the contract expired in June. But by Wednesday workers at all four sites were back on the job. A similar hearing is scheduled today for walkouts at the new Weill Cornell Medical College on East 69th Street. … [more]

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  • Hundreds of unionized cement and concrete workers have walked off the job at the World Trade Center site in response to the cement league trying to cut their pay by up to 20 percent, NY1 reported.

    The walk-out may spell a strike, since the concrete workers have been working without a contract since July 1, but the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey says it will have no effect on the Sept. 11 memorial construction schedule.

    “It’s a horrible situation, you know? We built this city and they want to take money away from us, in this bad economy,” said John Hardt, a member of the Cement and Concrete Workers Union…. [more]

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