Nonunion employees accuse union members of harassment

Lawsuit claims members made threatening phone calls

TRD New York /
Mar.March 08, 2017 05:55 PM

Nonunion and union protestors both outside of City Hall (credit: Associated Builders & Contractors and Building & Construction Trades Council)

Four nonunion construction employees accused members of a union competitor, Local 79, in a lawsuit of repeatedly harassing and intimidating them.

Justin Hagedorn, Earl Williams, Jose Bonilla and Jason Abadie, who work for the contracting firm Tradeoff, filed a lawsuit against the union members, alleging that they made threatening phone calls, put a 12-foot-tall inflatable rat in front of one of their homes and even surrounded them at an event, Crain’s reported.

The complaint, filed in New York State Supreme Court, describes a few different instances of intimidation. Bonilla alleges that he received an ominous phone call from one of the union members.

“If I went against the wrong team I would just kiss my kids goodbye and say they never gonna see daddy again,” the suit claims the caller told Bonilla.

At an event for a developer on Feb. 15, about 200 union members surrounded Hagedorn and Abadie, shouted insults, threw lit cigarettes and spit for 20 or 30 minutes until the police and broke up the crowd, the lawsuit claims.

Richard Weiss, a spokesperson for Local 79, said the group attended a rally on Feb. 15 and denied that any of the members attacked or harassed the men.

The lawsuit comes at a tense time between union and nonunion shops in the city. A series of proposed construction safety laws fueled the debate over whether union labor is inherently safer than its nonunion counterpart. [Crain’s] — Kathryn Brenzel

Related Articles

From left: Bruce Molser, David Schechtman, Bob Knakal, David Greenbaum, and Judi Pulice

New York’s real estate bigwigs offer predictions for 2020

Mayor Bill de Blasio and subway damage caused by Hurricane Sandy (Credit: Getty Images)

Program to rebuild Sandy-damaged homes needs extra $92M

Donald Trump with Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, Rep. Ron Kind and Sen. Cory Booker (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

Trump’s Opportunity Zone program is under investigation

From left:  Council member Rafael Espinal, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council member Antonio Reynoso (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

Bushwick rezoning impasse puts de Blasio’s housing plan at risk

Neir’s Tavern (Credit: Google Maps)

City’s oldest bar, of “Goodfellas” fame, gets last-minute lifeline

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a rendering of Penn Station (Credit: Getty Images, Governor's Office)

Landlord to Cuomo: “No intention of selling” Penn Station site

Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Hotel Trades Council president Peter Ward (Credit: Getty Images)

In nod to union, de Blasio will seek special permit for hotel development

A moment during massive rally in Midtown this week (Credit: SEIU 32BJ)

32BJ SEIU, office owners avoid strike with tentative labor contract