REBNY criticizes concrete workers deal

August 17, 2011 06:31PM

The Real Estate Board of New York strongly criticized a tentative deal
between concrete workers and an industry association
 that averted a strike last night, saying that the agreement won’t be enough to
stem a tide towards non-union construction, Crain’s reported. REBNY
also said that the agreement wouldn’t offer enough cost-savings for
developers. The deal involves wage increases of approximately 8 percent over
three years and a 20 percent wage reduction on hotel and residential
buildings of 16 or fewer stories, according to Crain’s.

REBNY had
hoped that the reduction could have extended to hotel and residential
projects of any size, since larger projects of REBNY members usually
use union members.

“From what I know, it doesn’t sound like they’ve
made any progress towards encouraging developers to not consider
nonunion work,” said REBNY President Steven Spinola. He said that with
the exception of buildings under 16 stories REBNY members would lose
business to non-union competitors. “What we’re trying to argue is, ‘My
members want to continue to build union, but help us compete.’” A
source told Crain’s that the deal has a provision allowing discounts
on other buildings on an individual basis. Both of the parties to the
agreement declined to comment. [Crain’s]