Union boss LaBarbera says he tried compromising with JDS

Michael Stern plans to build 111 West 57th Street with nonunion labor

New York /
Jun.June 15, 2015 02:45 PM

In the fight between JDS Development Group’s Michael Stern and union labor over the company’s plans for nonunion construction at supertall 111 West 57th Street, labor leader Gary LaBarbera says he was not entirely unwilling to compromise.

LaBarbera, who heads the Building and Construction Trades Council, tried to negotiate with Stern and get him to accept a project labor agreement, which allows for some flexibility in workers’ schedules and sometimes wages and benefits, according to the Wall Street Journal.

““We are being very pragmatic, being very realistic about what’s happening in the industry. It is our desire and my desire to figure out solutions,” LaBarbera said.

But Stern rejected the compromise, saying that the price differential was too big. Stern estimates the cost difference is 30 to 40 percent between union and nonunion labor.

“Gary is the CEO of Blockbuster video,” Stern said. “He needs to find a way to adapt and become Netflix.”

In March, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer inserted herself into the dispute by sending a letter to Stern expressing her concerns over safety. Also in March, union protesters disrupted a multifamily conference to speak out against JDS’ plans. [WSJ] — Tess Hofmann


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
From left: Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and Gov. Kathy Hochul (Getty, Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
Real estate winners and losers: state budget edition
Real estate winners and losers: state budget edition
Gov. Kathy Hochul (iStock, Getty)
Lawmakers propose rent relief but omit 421a
Lawmakers propose rent relief but omit 421a
From left: Michael Stern and Joseph Chetrit in front of 9 DeKalb Avenue in Brooklyn (Getty Images, JDS Development, LoopNet/Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)
Chetrit and Stern go toe-to-toe on Downtown Brooklyn supertall
Chetrit and Stern go toe-to-toe on Downtown Brooklyn supertall
JDS founder Michael Stern and US Crane & Rigging LLC Owner Thomas Auringer with the complaint and 111 W. 57th Street (Supreme Court of New York, 111 W 57, Facebook via Auringer)
Michael Stern’s JDS sues crane company at 111 West 57th Street for $50M
Michael Stern’s JDS sues crane company at 111 West 57th Street for $50M
Governor Kathy Hochul (Getty, iStock)
Kathy Hochul faces tough decisions on real estate
Kathy Hochul faces tough decisions on real estate
Construction worker accuses JDS Development of discrimination
Construction worker accuses JDS Development of discrimination
Construction worker accuses JDS Development of discrimination
Michael Stern of JDS Development
Michael Stern forms $200M SPAC with former Citadel analysts
Michael Stern forms $200M SPAC with former Citadel analysts
The Closing: Gary LaBarbera
The Closing: Gary LaBarbera
The Closing: Gary LaBarbera
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...