Staten Island mall project’s limited union labor sparks rally

October 23, 2013 01:25PM

Labor and city officials rallied against BFC Partners’ proposed Staten Island outlet mall and 200-room hotel, decrying its only partial use of union workers.

More than 100 union members, along with local politicians — including Rep. Michael Grimm, state Senator Diane Savino, Assembly member Matthew Titone and City Council candidate John Mancuso — rallied in the demonstration.

“Why can one come together with the unions to create good jobs and why can one not?” Gary LaBarbera, president of Build Up NYC, which represents three citywide unions, told DNAinfo. “I’ll tell you the reason why, because of profits and because of greed.”

The project is under the same Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, or ULURP, application as the New York Wheel, a proposed 625-foot-tall Ferris wheel. And while the wheel has committed to using union workers, the mall and hotel would only partly use union labor.

BFC has said the project would have great economic benefit for the borough, and that the developer has reached out to both union and non-union labor to ensure the involvement of both in the project.

The project’s ULURP application goes up for a City Council vote on October 30. [DNAinfo]Julie Strickland