De Blasio inks executive order requiring certain developers to let workers unionize

Projects receiving $1M in city subsidies must comply

Jul.July 20, 2016 09:30 AM

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order late last week mandating that developers of certain projects allow on-site workers to unionize.

The order applies to employees of retail and food service establishments that are located on the site of certain city-subsidized projects and that employ at least 10 people or take up more than 15,000 square feet, Politico reported. The projects would include those that span more than 100,000 square feet — or, if a residential building, have more than 100 units — and have received at least $1 million in financial assistance from the city.

The “labor peace clause” that allows the workers to unionize would remain in effect for 10 years after the project began or for as long as the developer receives subsidies from the city.

“Whereas a labor dispute at an economic or housing development project may result in interrupted services and a threat to the project’s viability and financial health; whereas a labor peace agreement can protect the city from such disruptions,” the order states.

The labor peace agreement would need to comply with the National Labor Relations Act, which requires that union members refrain from picketing or work stoppages and, in turn, employers remain neutral about union participation. Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, however, can exempt certain projects from the regulation, according to the order. The Real Estate Board of New York declined to comment. [Politico] — Kathryn Brenzel

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