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
Gary LaBarbera, Sen. Salazar and Sen. Gianaris (Getty)
Real estate winners and losers of the legislative session
Real estate winners and losers of the legislative session
Jessica Ramos, Gary LaBarbera and Latoya Joyner. (Getty, Facebook via Joyner)
Construction wage theft bill passes state Senate
Construction wage theft bill passes state Senate
JDS Development's Michael Stern and 613 Baltic Street (JDS, VOA Architecture)
Michael Stern-owned condo project files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
Michael Stern-owned condo project files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
Gary LaBarbera now leads the New York City and New York State councils. (Getty)
Gary LaBarbera quietly takes helm of building trades statewide
Gary LaBarbera quietly takes helm of building trades statewide
A Columbus Circle apartment once owned by Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen  went into contract last week, helping the Manhattan luxury home market finish February on a high note. 551 West 21st Street on the right. (Photos via Compass, Getty, Foster and Partners)
Manhattan luxury market has best month in six years
Manhattan luxury market has best month in six years
Michael Stern’s Walker Tower condo among 38 luxury contracts inked last week. (Compass)
Manhattan’s luxury market sees best week since 2016
Manhattan’s luxury market sees best week since 2016
Michael Stern and a rendering of the project (Getty, JDS Development/SHoP Archictects)
Michael Stern pays $24M for future site of 62-story Brickell tower
Michael Stern pays $24M for future site of 62-story Brickell tower
Gary LaBarbera and Bill de Blasio (Getty)
City, construction unions strike deal to hire low-income workers
City, construction unions strike deal to hire low-income workers
arrow_forward_ios

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

Loading...