Construction unions will take paycut to work at Atlantic Yards

November 23, 2011 10:05AM

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.

Still, the same unions that supported the project for the construction-related jobs it would create, and proved instrumental in Forest City Ratner’s obtaining approval for the development, are again working to appease the developer.

The prefabrication method has come under heavy fire from Atlantic Yards opponents who say it’s another example of Ratner failing to deliver on promises to the community. But a labor union source said workers are just trying to cut a deal to get whatever jobs they can on the site, even if the salary isn’t what they had hoped. [Brooklyn Paper]