Union, Manhattan beep to rally outside TF Cornerstone

Building workers accuse the developer of providing substandard pay and benefits
February 12, 2014 03:55PM

Building workers’ union 32BJ SEIU, long at odds with developer TF Cornerstone over the firm’s alleged poor treatment of workers at its buildings, will rally outside the developer’s Manhattan offices Wednesday along with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and several City Council members.

The union alleges that treatment of its workers at TF Cornerstone building sites, several of which have been along the Long Island City waterfront in recent years, is not up to the union’s standards. Among the concerns are an alleged failure to adopt industry-wide standards for pay and benefits — measures the developer says it has already taken.

“TF Cornerstone pays its building workers equal or better than union wages at all of its residential properties around New York City,” a spokesman for TF Cornerstone told Crain’s.

Wednesday’s rally is also viewed as a potential harbinger of things to come in a city government climate friendly to activists and less so to developers, officials told Crain’s. The demonstration also comes at a crucial time for the developer, which is due before the City Planning Commission next week to secure rezoning for an upcoming project.

“I think there is a progressive moment in the city of New York that is reflected in Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Mark-Viverito and folks like myself,” City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, the Council’s majority leader who is attending the rally, told Crain’s. “I definitely feel like there is a lot of momentum when it comes to us making sure that government projects come with an affordable housing component, and also that labor is at the table.” [Crain’s]Julie Strickland