Construction workers sue Ratner over false promises at AY

November 15, 2011 09:44AM

Seven construction workers will sue developer Bruce Ratner today, the New York Daily News reported, claiming he failed to deliver on jobs he promised them at Atlantic Yards in an effort to gain community approval for the controversial project.

The workers say they enrolled in Ratner’s training program for construction workers on the project, weren’t fully compensated for the work they performed during the training and afterwards were offered jobs in maintenance, a nearby health club and a McDonald’s.

James Caldwell, the head of one of the training programs bankrolled by Ratner and a defendant in the suit filed in Brooklyn Federal Court, said the trainees were never guaranteed construction work. He said the training program had to make adjustments to correspond with those made by Ratner for the size and scope of the project. A Forest City Ratner spokesperson said 779 construction workers labor at the site and 53 percent of them live in the city.

The attorney for the plaintiffs said his clients were also upset that Ratner promised jobs to people living in the community to gain their support for his massive development project, but never delivered on those promises. The suit alleges Ratner promised 17,000 union construction jobs and 8,000 permanent jobs. [NYDN]