The fight between New York’s construction unions and developer Related Companies is morphing into an information war.
The head of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, Gary LaBarbera, claims to know that Related’s $4 billion office project 50 Hudson Yards is behind schedule. “They can argue everything is going great, but we know it’s not going great,” he told Crain’s. “They have had some concrete blowouts where they had to replace walls because they imploded or cracked. That foundation should have been done in six or seven months, and they’re not even close.”
Related countered that the project is still on schedule for completion by 2022. A spokesperson for the company accused LaBarbera of making up facts and said, “no amount of malicious name-calling or defamatory statements will change the fact that Gary LaBarbera and the BCTC have failed to live up to their commitments.”
The unions and Related fell out after the development company decided it wants to use a mix of union and non-union workers for the next buildings in its Hudson Yards megaproject. The earlier towers were built solely with union workers.
In response, LaBarbera advocated for the Council’s member unions to not participate in the project’s second phase. Related hit back by filing a $100 million lawsuit against the council and LaBarbera. [Crain’s] — Konrad Putzier