Related scores union pay cuts at Hudson Yards

August 27, 2012 09:00AM

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.

Crain’s said the unions were motivated to cut a deal because many face unemployment levels of 25 percent or higher. About 13 million square feet are planned for the 26-acre site, which would account for approximately 39 million hours of work.

“When you walk into Costco and buy three months of groceries, you pay a lot less than when you’re buying a week’s worth,” Paul Fernandes, chief of staff of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, told Crain’s. “When you buy in bulk you sometimes get a better deal.”

The deal covers only the first phase, or 8 million square feet, of the project, including two large office buildings, a residential tower, a mixed-use tower and a retail complex. [Crain’s]Adam Fusfeld