Protests at Sam Chang hotel site lead to indictments for labor organizers

June 18, 2012 11:00AM

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.

The hotel is being built by Cava for hotel developer Sam Chang.

“It’s a brave new world when the district attorney’s office sides with a convicted member of organized crime against union workers exercising their First Amendment privilege,” J. Bruce Maffeo, a former federal prosecutor and attorney for James told the Times. “Bob James committed no crime, and this is not a fight from which he or union labor will walk away.”

Della Cava did not return the Times’ phone calls and e-mails seeking comment. [NYT]